Friday, 15 April 2011

Smart Gilas team reinforced with PBA standouts asked to play before home crowd

Posted by chardyboy on Friday, April 15, 2011 0 comments

source: By June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- PBA Commissioner Chito Salud would love to see the four players loaned by the pro league to the national team in the Fiba Asia Champions Cup, play before the home crowd.
Salud has urged Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman to showcase Air21’s Dondon Hontiveros, Meralco’s Asi Taulava and Talk N Text’s Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams in the May 28 to June 5 continental club championships at the Philsports Arena.

“It would be interesting to see what these players could offer for the national team in front of a home crowd,” said Salud.

“Will they fit into Toroman’s system? Are they going to blend in well with the players? What’s going to be the appearance of Smart Gilas with them around?” added the second-generation commissioner.

But Toroman, who is set to release seven-footer Greg Slaughter and 6-foot-6 Aldrech Ramos to their respective schools in the UAAP after getting the nod of the PBA on the four players, has other plans in mind.

Toroman said he’s looking at June 15 as the target schedule for Alapag, Williams, Hontiveros and Taulava to slip into their Smart Gilas training gear or exactly three months before the Nationals go to battle in the Fiba Asia Championship in Wuhan, China.

“Time for adjustment is too short if we let them play for us in the Champions Cup,” said Toroman, noting that last possible playdate of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on May 13 would be less than three weeks away from the tournament.

Toroman learned his lesson from the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010 when the Serbian coach finally got hold of Taulava, Williams and Sol Mercado barely two weeks before the games.

Meanwhile, Salud said the PBA has been reviewing another possible round of fines to be slapped on Solar TV, the league’s television partner.

Signal disruptions in Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas, Rizal and in some parts of Metro Manila have forced the PBA to fine Solar a running total of P12 million since the television outfit transferred the airing of the games on Studio23 more than a month ago.

Salud said Solar committed another infraction during the quarterfinal games held at the Cuneta Astrodome last week and could be penalized another P3 million if proven guilty. The PBA has already notified Solar about the breach and is waiting for Solar to air its side.


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