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Rain or Shine given PBA green light to represent PH in Asiad

Rain or Shine given PBA green light to represent PH in Asiad

THE PBA board has already given Rain or Shine the go-signal to represent the country in next month’s Asian Games in Indonesia.

Barangay Ginebra board representative Alfrancis Chua said a consensus was reached by the board just before the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals that the top-seeded team at the end of the eliminations will have the honor of flying the country’s flag in the Asiad.

The Elasto Painters emerged as the No. 1 team heading into the playoffs of the mid-season conference.

The decision will be formalized by Thursday when the board convenes for its regular monthly meeting.

Chua added the Asiad stint was also offered to San Miguel, but with the finals of the mid-season tournament scheduled to end by the second week of August, it would be impossible for the ballclub to fully focus on the campaign.

The Asiad officially starts on August 18.

Still to be tackled though are the players who will fill up the Gilas roster following the Fiba suspension meted on 10 of its mainstays following the brawl with Australia in a Fiba World Cup Asian qualifier last July 2.

“Yung sa Gilas ibang issue ‘yun, and we still have to talk about it on Thursday,” said San Miguel board representative Robert Non during the press conference for the San Miguel-Ginebra finals on Tuesday at the Sambokojin Restaurant in Libis.

Chua disclosed the national team already submitted a list of players who can possibly suit up for Gilas in the second round of the Fiba World Cup qualifier.

“Nag-submit sila ng names na involved din ang SMC players. And yun ang pag-uusapan namin sa Thursday. We’ll see what happens,” said Chua.

Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia said the team is ready to play in the Asiad especially following its exit in the semifinals on Monday. He added plans are now being laid to have now NLEX coach Yeng Guiao as coach of his former club.

TnT Katropa was originally tapped to play in the Asiad, but begged off following the suspension of four of its players for their involvement in the July 2 brawl.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said the league deemed it best to just send a PBA ballclub to the quadrennial showpiece to minimize disruption of the league’s playing schedule in the Governors Cup.

“Mas madali kasi kung isang team na lang ang ipapadala, hindi malaki ang effect sa schedule, not unlike kung kukuha pa ng players sa iba’t ibang teams, ” he said.

Besides, Chua said the Asiad was not originally included in the calendar of events where the league was supposed to lend its players as agreed upon during a board meeting in Hong Kong.

“Kasi pag parehong sumali sa qualifier and Asian Games, mawawalan na ng slot ang PBA. Hindi tayo makakapaglaro ng isang buwan,” said Chua, who is also SMC sports director.

But when the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) knocked on the league’s door, the PBA nonetheless relented.

“Kaso biglang sinabi na kailangan sumali, so nagtulung-tulong na lang yung mga governors on how to put up a team,” said Chua.