It appears that Gilas Pilipinas’ World Cup preparations will no longer include the Jones Cup in Taiwan.
National team head coach Yeng Guiao made the announcement Sunday, saying that the Philippines joining the annual invitational is almost no longer the case as the PBA can’t afford another long break in its 2019 season.
It was first proposed that Gilas should compete in the Jones Cup as part of the national team’s prep for the FIBA World Cup in China set for September.
“Ito na yung mga bagong developments no, recently. I’ve been briefed by boss Al Panlilio after the PBA Board Meeting that the chances of us joining the Jones Cup in preparation for the World Cup are really very slim,” Guiao said Sunday.
“The Jones Cup will hit the schedule of the PBA right about smack in the middle. So mahirap nanaman tumigil nang matagal. Itong Jones Cup will be around ten days. So that’s another two weeks. So it’s going to be very difficult for the PBA to, again, suspend or play without their superstars,” he added.
The Jones Cup in Taiwan has been used for preparations by several Gilas teams before. Last year, the Ateneo Blue Eagles represented the Philippines and actually did well.
With the Jones Cup in doubt, Guiao is open to other solutions as he looks to have more time in shaping his national team for the World Championships in China.
“So I’m open to other formula to prepare the team. And the other option given to us was just to play some friendly matches with teams that are not in our group or organize pocket tournaments,” he said.
“So open naman ako doon. We don’t know yet specifically kung ano pa, ano yung mangyayari, but those are the options given to us. So from here, we will keep talking to the PBA and the SBP,” Guiao added.
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