The decision of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to withdraw from the 2018 Asian Games on July 26 sent shockwaves throughout the entire Philippine basketball community.
Many fans were confused with the sudden pull-out since the news came shortly after the SBP and the PBA agreed to send a team comprised of mostly Rain or Shine players to Indonesia. SBP stood by its decision to withdraw despite clamor from people to join the basketball competition.
But on Sunday, the SBP, together with the PBA, announced that it would eventually send a team to the Asian Games.
MAY 31, 2018
A meeting was held to discuss the country's plans for sending a basketball team to the Asian Games. The PBA Board said the Philippines could possibly send a core group of TNT, plus a handful of players from the Gilas Cadets, one player from the Alaska Aces and Andray Blatche to Indonesia.
JUNE 18, 2018
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes revealed the official 12-man lineup for the Asian Games, which was composed mostly of TNT players. The roster submitted to the POC had Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Andray Blatche, Roger Pogoy, Jericho Cruz, Don Trollano, Anthony Semerad, Troy Rosario, Kelly Williams and Gilas Cadets Ricci Rivero, Kobe Paras and Abu Tratter.
JULY 1, 2018
A day before the game between Gilas and the Boomers in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, members from the Australia contingent removed decals from the Philippine Arena floor. The SBP felt disrespected with Australia's removal of FIBA-approved stickers without going through the proper channels. Basketball Australia issued an apology for the incident, which SBP accepted.
JULY 2, 2018
A brawl broke out during the Gilas-Boomers game which led to 13 player ejections. The Boomers were up 79-48 with 4:01 left in the third period when the game was halted after a collision between Gilas guard Roger Pogoy and Australia's Chris Goulding started what eventually escalated into an ugly free-for-all. The Philippine team had to finish the game with only three players and went on to lose 89-53.
That night, FIBA released statement saying it would open "disciplinary proceedings" and a decision would be made in the coming days.
JULY 5, 2018
The SBP and Basketball Australia released a joint statement, saying they "deeply regret the events that took place during the game. The actions displayed have no place on any basketball court."
JULY 19, 2018
FIBA handed out sanctions to the players and team officials who were involved in the July 2 brawl between Philippines and Australia. Ten players from Gilas Pilipinas were slapped with game suspensions, including Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Terrence Romeo and Andray Blatche -- all of whom were included in the initial team lineup submitted for the Asian Games.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes and assistant coach Jong Uichico also received suspensions, as well as three players from the Boomers. Both the SBP and Basketball Australia were hit with fines "for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its players."
That same day, the SBP held a news conference, saying it accepts the sanctions but will seek clarifications from FIBA. Panlilio said FIBA's ruling is specific only to the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, which means that other tournaments, including the PBA and the Asian Games, will not be affected.
Panlilio also revealed that even before the sanctions, there was already a plan by the PBA, POC and SBP to look for "option B" with regard to the composition of the Asian Games team in case certain players would be affected by FIBA's ruling.
JULY 20, 2018
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said the SBP can get players from the 12 PBA teams as possible replacements for the Gilas players who were suspended: "The whole PBA, its team owners and governors, is supporting the Gilas program."
Marcial said Rain or Shine offered to represent the Philippines in the Asian Games. His statement was backed by Rain or Shine owner Raymond Yu.
JULY 24, 2018
POC president Ricky Vargas said Jordan Clarkson's name was included in the 18-man list for the Asian Games submitted to them by the SBP.
JULY 25, 2018
SBP confirmed to ESPN5 that Yeng Guiao would coach the Philippine men's basketball team in the Asian Games.
Guiao said he had a wish list of players to be included in the Asian Games team, which included Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, Marcio Lassiter and Stanley Pringle.
JULY 26, 2018
SBP president Al Panlilio gave ESPN5 an update on Clarkson's status, saying his name "is on the list for clearance with Olympic Council of Asia and the Indonesia local organizing committee." He added the SBP is "concurrently negotiating" with Clarkson and is seeking clearance also from the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The SBP and PBA, along with the Board of Governors, officially announced that the core of Rain or Shine will represent the Philippines in the Asian Games. SBP said the team will most likely consist of seven to eight ROS players, three Gilas Cadets, NLEX big man Asi Taulava and potentially Clarkson. Panlilio also clarified why they opted not send TNT anymore: "I think from a moral standpoint, after the incident, maybe we'll rest the players that were exposed."
A few hours after the press conference, there was a meeting involving Vargas, Panlilio, Guiao, Reyes, SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios and Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia where the composition of the lineup was discussed. Guiao asked what the objective of the team was and said they might not be serious contenders with the players on hand. SBP asked if it was worth sending a team before they ultimately reached to a consensus to withdraw from the competition. Guiao said they agreed to "prepare for the next window and focus on the appeal instead of spending our time and resources on a stint [where] we'll be unprepared for and without the necessary personnel."
The SBP released an official statement that it will no longer send a team to Indonesia because "the time and chance to participate in the 2018 Asian Games would not be optimal" and "to allow our national team and organization to regroup, prepare for the process of appealing the FIBA Disciplinary Panel's recent decision, and aim for sustainable success in future tournaments."
SBP Statement on Philippine Participation in the 2018 Asian Games pic.twitter.com/bYJkGEi74R— SBP (@officialSBPinc) July 26, 2018
JULY 27, 2018
Panlilio told ESPN5 the FIBA ruling regarding the July 2 brawl played a role in SBP's decision to withdraw. "Obviously, because our original plan of sending a core of TNT players was affected. We are working on our appeal," said Panlilio.
Vargas talked to several reporters in the afternoon saying the SBP made its decision "for reasons other than the composition of the team." He also addressed the backlash received from fans: "I also understand the fans' disappointment but this is the time to look at the long-term plans rather than the short-term."
PBA commissioner Marcial and the Board of Governors held their own press conference in the evening and said they were not consulted nor informed by the SBP about its decision to withdraw from the Asian Games. Most of them said they found out about the decision through social media the morning after SBP released an official statement.
JULY 31, 2018
Asian Games Philippines Chef de Mission Richard Gomez said they haven't sent an official letter of the withdrawal to the Indonesia Asian Games 2018 Organizing Committee, hoping the SBP would have a change of heart.
Shortly after, however, the SBP remained firm with its decision against sending a team to Indonesia.
AUGUST 5, 2018
The SBP and the PBA announced in a press conference that the Philippines will indeed send a basketball team to the Asian Games. The 14-man lineup of the national squad will be composed of Rain or Shine players Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, Chris Tiu and Maverick Ahanmisi, along with Magnolia's Paul Lee, Blackwater's JP Erram, San Miguel's Christian Standhardinger, GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle, TNT's Don Trollano, NLEX's Asi Taulava and Gilas Cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero. Guiao said the list will be trimmed down to 12 before they leave for Indonesia.
August 15, 2018
Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson is cleared to join the Philippines basketball team at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. Clarkson is among a trio of NBA players who received a onetime exception by the NBA to compete in the Asian Games.