The Philippine Basketball Association (SBP) will form a solid team for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held from June 29 to July 4 in Belgrade, Serbia.
The SBP is in talks with the leadership of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers.
The association wants to draw strong players because Gilas Pilipinas will face a tough battle in Serbia.
SBP also hopes to speed up the naturalization of Ivorian Angelo Kouame so that it can be included in Gilas’ lineup in the qualifiers.
“We will be coordinating with the PBA to plot our plans moving forward and we’re hopeful that Ange Kouame’s naturalization will be signed into law by then to give Gilas Pilipinas Men that added boost it needs to be more competitive,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.
The whole country celebrated when FIBA gave the Philippines a place in the Olympic qualifying after New Zealand withdrew.
“This is truly a welcome development and we’re very happy that Gilas Pilipinas Men will be given a chance to compete for a spot in the Olympics,” said Panlilio.
New Zealand decides to pull out due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
SBP is particularly pleased that Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan was the first to know the news through FIBA Secretary-General Andreas Zagklis.
“Our Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan had a conversation with Andreas Zagklis, Secretary-General of FIBA, who informed him of the development and MVP was very pleased with the news,” said Panlilio.