source: Julius Manicad | tribune.net.ph
Kelly Williams is a handshake away from becoming a member of Smart Gilas Team Pilipinas, or so it seems.
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Sonny Barrios yesterday said transferring Williams to the national team is possible, but Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) should make a formal request and bring it before the PBA board of governors.
“It will all depend if and they make such a request and make a formal representation to the PBA board,” said Barrios, reacting to SBP project director Rajko Toroman’s appeal to enlist the 6-foot-7 versatile forward from Sta. Lucia Realty.
“We don’t know the parameters, yet. We have yet to see what they will lay on the table.”
SBP executive director Noli Eala, a former PBA commissioner, earlier said he will try to strike a deal with other PBA executives to formally transfer Williams from the professional league to the national squad. The PBA, after all, is a member of SBP and has been very supportive to the national team program.
“Getting Williams is something the coach believes will really make us consistent,” Eala said. “This is for the national team and we will share the honor with the entire country.”
But Barrios said unless SBP presents anything solid, the possible transfer of Williams remains in balance.
“They haven’t presented anything. It’s still an idea so we prefer not to speculate,” Barrios said.
Toroman, the brain behind Iran’s journey to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said Williams’ mental toughness and inside presence will provide Gilas the much-needed boost in the 2011 Fiba-Asia Championship where a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics is at stake. So far, Toroman is waiting for Filipino-American gunner Chris Lutz (click here for Chris Lutz’ stats) and an American import to finalize his roster. Gilas team manager Frankie Lim is already in the United States to scout for an American reinforcement for possible naturalization.
Chris Lutz (Marshall Thundering Herd)
SBP ADVISED TO FOLLOW PROTOCOL
by Josef T. Ramos | manilatimes.net
IF Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is serious in tapping pro players, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Chairman Lito Alvarez admonished SBP to follow protocol and communicate formally with PBA’s respective team officials. Instead of directly talking with media, Alvarez suggested SBP Executive Director Noli Eala should negotiate formally with team owners because if team owners refuse to lend their players, they can’t do anything about it.
“It’s all in the papers [newspapers],” aired Alvarez, also current team governor of Burger King. “There is no any written request if the SBP is requesting any possible PBA players to play with the Smart Gilas Pilipinas team.”
Based on PBA guidelines, team owners, governors and officials from the 10 teams have the sole right to their respective players if they will loan any of them to the national team.
A source, who refused to be named, said SBP high-ranking officials, led by President Manny V. Pangilinan, must be “organized in dealing with this delicate matter.”
Smart Gilas Serbian mentor Rajko Toroman was keen in tapping Sta. Lucia’s Kelly Williams, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood and Talk ‘N Text’s Jared Dillinger to play for Smart Gilas in Guangzhou Asian Games.
Eala expressed the possibility of tapping PBA players or play all-Filipino in the Asian Games on November 12 to 27 this year after sending home ineffective Americans CJ Giles and Jamal Sampson, who were both candidates for naturalization before.
But there is no formal letter received yet by the PBA.
Coming from the pro league, Alvarez also said that Smart Gilas doesn’t need reinforcement.
“What they need right now is one dominant big man from fulfilling its goal in qualifying to the Olympics,” he said. “At the same time, they have their own system.”
Eala, on the other hand, said that newly appointed Smart Gilas team manager would go to US and look for another American big man to be naturalized in order to play for the national team in the future.
But the long process of naturalizing players may force Smart Gilas to play all-Filipino in the Asian Games.