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After ruling SEABA, bigger hurdles await Gilas

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 6 days ago Denison Rey A. Dalupang

MANILA, Philippines — The hard part begins.

With their FIBA Asia ticket already punched, Chot Reyes is looking at Lebanon, Malaysia and the hurdles that will come along the way.

Among those is whether he is going to keep the "SEABA 12" intact or not.

Speaking shortly after Gilas notched the gold medal in the 2017 SEABA Championships, Reyes gamely explained how the team and the program will move on.

"It all depends on the discussions with the (Philippine Basketball Association) Board, with the (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas), and with the other stakeholders on what the plan is going to be," he shared. "We purposely did not put a concrete plan in place until we won this first."

"I said, let's win this first and now that we know that we're going to the World Cup qualifying, now we can sit down and put a plan together," he added.

Reyes, who returned at the helm for the Gilas program, added that sitting down and putting a plan together is not as easy as it sounds.Gilas program, added that sitting down and putting a plan together is not as easy as it sounds.

"Obviously there are a lot of schedules and other things to consider," he said. "Hindi ko pa alam. The only thing we know is we have a cadet program in place, but other that, it's all dependent on the discussions and the meetings that are going to happen after tonight."

Gilas Pilipinas in the final day of the 2017 SEABA Championships, Thursday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. | PBA Media Bureau © Philstar.com Gilas Pilipinas in the final day of the 2017 SEABA Championships, Thursday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. | PBA Media Bureau

"We know it's going to be a challenge, it's going to be difficult. So, we just have to sit down, put our heads together to find a way and to find the best possible solution, best possible scenario," he continued.

"I think we have a good group, I think we have the potential to be a really good, strong team. But I also understand that there are other interests and there are other needs that prevail. And it's not only us that's battling that. The same is true with [United States].

"US Basketball has already said that it's the D-League that's going, it's not going to be the NBA players. I know that Europe has the same problem, and all the other countries all over the world have the same problem. We just have to be very creative and figure out the best way forward.

Reyes shared that he is also looking at the William Jones Cup as among the tournaments that Gilas will partake in before diving into the World Cup qualifiers in November.

"There are several different directions we can take, but like I said, it has to be determined by the Gilas brain trust together with the other stakeholders, the PBA and the SBP," he closed.

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