PBA: Norman Black questions Fil-Am eligibility in FIBA Asia Champions Cup
Philip Matel on Oct 06, 2018 01:47 PM
Coach Norman Black said similar eligibility issues would arise if other PBA teams like San Miguel or Ginebra were fielded due to a huge number of Filipino-American players.
Meralco Bolts head coach Norman Black questioned the issues regarding the eligibility of wards Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge, who were not allowed to play in the recently-concluded FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
Newsome and Hodge, Filipino-Americans, were deemed ineligible by the organizers of the event and would have contributed dearly in the Bolts' campaign, which ended in a fourth-place finish.
"If Newsome and Hodge are part of our club, I don't understand why they were not allowed to play," the seasoned mentor said after their 94-91 loss against Blackwater.
He also added that similar issues would arise if other PBA teams like San Miguel or Ginebra were fielded due to a huge number of Filipino-American players.
"They shouldn't like discriminate against guys who are Filipino-Americans because they're still Filipino and they're still part of the club."
Even though they ended the tilt with a 1-5 record, with their lone win coming at the expense of the defending champions Al Riyadi, Black says that the team gained a lot of experience facing international clubs.
"Teams there were very, very good teams, they are very talented teams. It's a little bit difficult to get there undermanned considering the competition. I'm hoping my players will be able to use this in the future and I hope they had a good experience playing in the tournament."
He also added that the team was not fatigued following the week-long tournament and was never a factor in their close loss against one of the top teams of the Governors' Cup.
"If we made that last foul shot [of Allen Durham], it would have helped a little bit, it would have given us the lead and put a little bit more pressure on them. But they also stepped up and made shots when it counted.
As they head into a Finals rematch against two-time defending champs Ginebra on Sunday in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, the team will be undermanned as Jared Dillinger, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Cliff Hodge are questionable for the tussle.
'But being undermanned can hurt your chances especially if your team is not that deep. Ginebra is a little bit deeper than Meralco team. But it’s nice if we have both a full line-up, healthy line-up and everybody’s already been playing. Particularly, when you lose JD, he’s our best perimeter defender."
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