LAS VEGAS - The Philippine Basketball Association is leaning further backwards in full commitment to support the national team program geared towards making the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
The PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas have further solidified their ties in the ongoing annual planning session of the PBA board of governors at The Venetian Hotel here.
PBA chairman Ricky Vargas said the league board has tasked the Commissioner's Office to make the necessary adjustments on its schedule of activities to make it synchronized with the FIBA calendar all the way to the 2019 World Cup in August.
On top of that, the PBA board has approved the participation of the Meralco Bolts ball club in the 2018 FIBA Championships Cup starting Sept. 27 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Bolts vie for the crown against the Alvark Tokyo of Japan, the Liaoning
Leopards of China, the SK Knights of Korea, the Al Riyadi team of Lebanon, Petrochimi of Iran, Pauian of Chinese Taipei, the Mono Vampire of Thailand.
No less than FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann requested the participation of a PBA team.
"All of these won't be possible without the gracious support and cooperation of the PBA," said Vargas.
"Without a doubt, the partnership of the PBA and the SBP has become more solid. And this is a big, big plus for our national team," said SBP president Al Panlilio, also a PBA board member representing the Meralco Bolts team.
With all the accommodations the PBA have given on the national team's ongoing campaign in the FIBA World Cuo eliminator, the current season is to end late this year, and the next season is to start Jan. 13.
"The third conference next season may stretch to January, 2020 as the league is again readjusting its schedule for the remaining windows of the FIBA WC qualifiers, and to the FIBA WC proper should we make it there. That's the commitment the PBA is throwing to the SBP and the national team," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.
Giving their nod on this are PBA governors Dickie Bachmann of Alaska Milk, Rod Franco of NLEX, Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra, Robert Non of San Miguel Beer, Rene Pardo of Magnolia, Erick Arejola of NorthPort, Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip, Silliman Sy of Blackwater, Raymond Zorrilla of Phoenix Fuel and Mert Mondragon of Rain or Shine.(SB)