IT’S called reality.
Why in the world would business competitors help each other? Because it’s for a national cause?
How many business entities have been involved in this supposed “national cause”? Check the jerseys, billboards, TV, radio and print ads and you tell me that the interest of our nation is the one at stake.
Whether it was profitable, break even or a losing proposition is none of our business because private money was spent in this project.
Is the current leadership exploiting Gilas to gain sponsorships for the team via advertising? I don’t think so, simply because the conglomerate currently backing the team spent millions to form support our national team.
For doing so, methinks they have earned some privilege to find ways how to recoup a few millions of the money they spent for the team.
On the other hand, other team owners are being accused of treachery for supposedly not allowing their top players to be part of the national training pool? Not really because again, the PBA is all about business.
Companies join the PBA to promote their products which in the process will benefit their employees. And all teams in the PBA employ hundreds of thousands of Filipinos here and abroad. Now who is unpatriotic?
Team owners, however, can start convincing themselves support a national team that will be composed of young, non-PBA talents who will be playing together in the next 3-5 years.
The idea is to name a pool composed of 15-20 players carefully chosen by a coaching staff that will exclusively be coaching the team for the next five years.
The agreement among PBA teams is that no one among the training pool members will be allowed to join the rookie draft until they turn 25 years old.
If one player is chosen but refuses to join the pool, he will technically be considered a national team material, but because of his refusal to join the squad, he will only be allowed to enter the PBA at age 25.
Through this, PBA teams, specifically those having high picks, would not be tempted to convince a future PBA star to snub a national team invite and directly join the draft.
Now for national team players, who are concerned about their future financially, the PBA could probably make exemptions to these rookies by making them eligible to receive the maximum allowable salary once they complete their mission with the national team.
The PBA will greatly benefit from this proposal since most of their potential first-round picks in every draft have already built a name and huge following for being longtime members of the national team.
The sacrifice for the PBA would be in the first two years where the first two rookie drafts will most likely be bereft of talent.
Looking at the basketball landscape the next two to three years, don’t you think the likes of Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks, Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Jeron Teng, Arnold Van Opstal, Matthew Aquino, Arvin Tolentino, together with a naturalized player, a handful of Fil-foreigners and possibly Jordan Clarkson can form a potent Pilipinas national team?