FIBA 2023 World Cup – MANILA: Long journey to 2023 World Cup begins

Photo shows (from left ) Rep. Robbie Puno, SBP president Al Panlilio, SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Gilas head coach Chot Reyes joining hands for the success of the FIBA 2023 World Cup. Jun Mendoza


MANILA, Philippines — Form the team – as soon as possible.

This was the marching order received by Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes yesterday, way, way ahead of the country’s hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


ADVERTISEMENT: This space is reserve for your Ad, contact now!


“Pick twenty-three FIlipinos then maybe one or two imports for naturalization,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan yesterday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas.

It was supposed to be a victory celebration following the country’s successful bid in Geneva, a victory that awarded the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia the right to host the 32-nation world-class event in 2023.

Instead, it became a venue for Pangilinan to map out the plans, especially when it comes to the formation of the team.

Since the event is six years away, Pangilinan said he doesn’t expect most of the faces making up the current Gilas lineup to be around when the country hosts the World Cup for the first time since 1978.


ADVERTISEMENT: This space is reserve for your Ad, contact now!



“The players who are likely to compose the team will not be Jason Castro (who is 30). The players must be from 26 to 32 years old by 2023. Players like Roger Pogoy (24), Kiefer Ravena (24),” said Pangilinan.

Even Thirdy Ravena, who’s still in college playing for Ateneo, was mentioned by Pangilinan.

“These are the guys to constitute the team. And we have to start training them now,” said Pangilinan.

Andray Blatche, the naturalized player for Gilas, is already 30, and may no longer be as strong, as good as he is today than in 2023.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano graced the affair yesterday, and vowed to support the delicate process in acquiring naturalized players for Gilas.

Al Panlilio, the SBP president, said they will look at players who may be in high school or college today.

“We must identify potentially who are these players – not those in the PBA today. Maybe June Mar Fajardo (27) will still be at his peak at that time. Then there’s Ricci Rivero (La Salle), Thirdy, Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar (30) may still make it,” said Panlilio.

Greg Slaughter’s name was mentioned a couple of times, too.

Reyes, the head coach, joined the bigshots in the panel, and spoke on the difficulty of the task up ahead.

“It will be difficult. We will need the assistance of all stakeholders, not only the PBA but those in the colleges. We must put up a calendar right now and make the team at its strongest (for 2023),” he said.

“We have to sit down and identify the players,” said Reyes, who was in the company of assistant coach Jong Uichico and team manager Butch Antonio yesterday.

Reyes said he has an idea of how young the team should be.

“Most likely the players who will be 26 to 32 by 2023 although we’re not discounting some who will be 22 or 23. But most probably it will be around that age,” said Reyes.

The Philippine Star 

For comments, Email to :
SPORTS STATION | [email protected] | Contributor

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page