Attorney Chito Salud, the new PBA commissioner, has no worries with regard to the withdrawal of Smart Gilas in the Governor’s Cup Season ender. The withdrawal will only shorten the tournament by one week. There will be no major defects.
There will still be nine teams and from that nine teams only six teams will advance in the next round wherein they will have a single round robin game.
Smart Agilas asked for withdrawal because they have prior commitments to other international leagues which will coincide in the season ender of the Governors Cup. They are also asking if the PBA can allow Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, Asi Taulava, and Dondon Hontiveros to play for them.
Chito Salud said that there will be no problem with regard to their request because Asi, Kelly, Dondon, and Jimmy are playing for teams that are owned by the SBP or the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipininas which is being headed by Manny V. Pangilinan.
Allan Gregorio, one of the coaches of Air 21, is willing to let Dondon Hontiveros play for Smart Gilas. He further adds that Hontiveros will be more than willing to play for the Philippine Flag. That is his dream, he says. Hontiveros wants to bounce back from a poor showing from the last 2007 Asian Games in Tokushima.
Mr. Sonny Barrios also added that with this withdrawal of Smart Gilas, they will have enough time to prepare for the FIBA Asia tourney. Smart Gilas' first international tournament this year will be the Jones Cup and the FIBA-Asia Champions Cup. The Philippines will host the Champions Cup which will start on May 28 up to June 5 at the PhilSports Arena.