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    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Asi Taulava And Kelly Williams Joins The Smart Gilas National Basketball Team

    Source: GMAnews.tv
    BANGKOK – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) plans to sit down with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to once again redefine the role of the pro league in the overall program of the country’s governing body for basketball.

    Newly-installed PBA commissioner Chito Salud and chairman Rene Pardo made the disclosure Monday at the close of the PBA Board’s annual planning session here following efforts made by the SBP to tap talents from the pro league in reinforcing the RP-Smart Gilas national developmental team to the coming Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

    “We will try to seek an audience with the SBP since the (PBA) Board aired its concern during the meeting over what specific role the league plays in helping out the association in its program," said Salud. “We certainly want to iron things out."

    The request by the SBP to have the services of Asi Taulava, Kelly Williams and James Yap topped the agenda for the two-day Board session.

    While Taulava and Williams were both given the go-signal to suit up for the Nov. 12-27 Asiad, Yap begged off from playing for the team.

    The reigning PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) cited personal reasons and the recent surgery performed on him to remove the polyp in his nose as to why he had to decline the invitation.

    All three star players were part of the two separate national teams formed and trained by the PBA that saw action in the 2007 and 2009 FIBA-Asia men’s basketball championships, respectively.

    “James Yap has personally begged off to play because we all know the personal matters he’s undergoing right now," said Pardo.

    The Board chairman disclosed that Yap actually had to be brought back to the hospital more than a week ago following the surgery as he was experiencing mass bleeding.

    Salud said filling up the void left by Yap will solely rest on the SBP and national coach Rajko Toroman, who is currently in China with the Smart Gilas squad for the 4th Asian Basketball Association Club Championship.

    Although no other names have been submitted to the Board for Yap’s possible replacement, veteran Dondon Hontiveros of San Miguel and Mac Mac Cardona of Meralco are being mentioned as among the prime candidates for the position.

    Patrick Gregorio, board representative of Talk `N Text, which sponsors the national team, remains non-committal about the matter other than stressing that Toroman wants a shooter in the mold of Yap.

    Salud said the decision of the Board to allow Taulava and Williams to reinforce the Smart-Gilas squad is just a stop-gap measure as he expects the SBP program to become "more mature and competitive by next year."

    “That’s why we want to sit down with SBP officials and clarify the extent of support we will give them," said the commissioner.

    Also limited of the Guangzhou Asiad is the stint of Talk `N Text mentor Chot Reyes as special assistant to Toroman.

    Salud also noted that per the SBP letter to the PBA, Taulava and Williams will only play for the team for the two-week duration of the meet.

    During the session that lasted for about six hours, the Board also approved the improvised rules on officiating Salud and his technical group initiated for outright use in the coming 36th season that kicks off on Oct. 3.

    The commissioner said he is ready for any criticism that may arise out of the refined set-up in officiating.

    He added he was confident that it "will work out not immediately, but soon enough."

    Other points tackled were the employment of a 14-man lineup for each team and the right to field in all 14 players during a game, as well as a 6-4 height limit for imports seeing action in the second conference and the application of a handicap import system in the season-ending tournament.

    Aside from Pardo, also elected as officers of the Board were Mamerto Mondragon (Rain or Shine) as vice chairman and JB Baylon (Powerade) as treasurer.

    Other Board members present during the two-day planning session were former chairmen Joaqui Trillo (Alaska) and Ely Capacio (San Miguel), Robert Non (Ginebra), Gregorio, Ramon Segismundo (Meralco), Johan Ramos (Air21), Manny Mendoza (Barako Bull) and one-time chairman Buddy Encarnado. - KY, RCJ, GMANews.TV

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