The latest developments regarding our national team have been on two fronts.
First, the pool for the SEABA that will compete on July 3-7 in Thailand has been named. No one from the said group will be from the collegiate ranks (since it is about to be the collegiate basketball season). The roster will be led by SMART-Gilas holdovers Chris Tiu and Marcus Douthit, and will be comprised of the core of the NLEx Road Warriors team that dominated the just-concluded PBA D-League (
Update: Alaska players LA Tenorio, Sonny Thoss and former Gilas 1 member Mac Baracael are joining the lineup, replacing Hodge, Ellis and Manuel. The 12th person is supposed to be Sol Mercado, but that will be contingent on Meralco's performance in this conference.
Second, Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo opined about the context of SMART-Gilas being "selfish" in a series of tweets from his Twitter handle (@luigitrillo), to which Chot has countered on his twitter handle (@coachot). This is in regard to the decision of a couple of PBA prospects (Hodge & Ellis) deferring their entry into the draft and diving in to the Gilas campaign.
Regarding that, I'd like to express my thoughts on this. One, the decision whether Ellis and Hodge can apply for the upcoming PBA draft is theirs and theirs only. You cannot force them to join the draft. This ain't the military where you are mandated to join. You may try to influence them, but you can't force 'em. They make the call as to when they will enter. Plus, it kind of looks bad on Luigi that they have to beg for them to enter the draft to bolster a bad team in Alaska. It also shows a lack of confidence in your players. Sorry about your damn luck if you were hoping for them to come in. It kinda just sucks that the team is in its worst stretch in ages.
Update: Looks like with Hodge and Ellis being dropped in the SEABA lineup, they are said to be advised to join the upcoming PBA draft.
Two, if there is someone you should be calling "selfish," it will be those teams under the SMC banner, who basically barred certain players Chot was targeting (the likes of Marcio, Alex, James, Marc and Arwind). I am still kind of bewildered by the explanation (or lack thereof) as to why they ain't there. Of course, there will be an official explanation regarding their inaccessibility.
Hopefully, there is clarity and assurance with this because this is about national pride we are talking about here.