TNT-Gilas Cadets-Alaska-Blatche combination to form team for Asian Games

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Board held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the country's plans for sending a basketball team to the 2018 Asian Games.

This year's Asian Games will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia from August 18 to September 2.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas said the Board faced several challenges in coming up with a team for the international meet. Vargas said they could either decide on sending the Gilas Cadets or a selection of PBA players.

But the Board believes a team composed of purely members of the Gilas Cadets wouldn't be competitive enough, even with naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche in tow. As for the second option, they concluded that having a lineup of different PBA players would be tough to manage, given the number of teams involved, and they would need to tinker with the PBA schedule again.

The Board ultimately decided on a possible solution which was to send a core group of one team, which is TNT, plus a handful of players from the Gilas Cadets, one player from the Alaska Aces and Blatche. That way, the Board will only have to adjust the schedule of the KaTropa to give way to the Asian Games squad.

"When we saw the composition, we thought it would be competitive," said Vargas.

Vargas said the POC will make a request and hope it will be allowed to add more names to the original list of players submitted. SBP president Al Panlilio added that the deadline for the final roster of players, which will be reviewed by Gilas coach Chot Reyes, is on June 10.

If it pushes through, the 2018 Asian Games squad will be quite similar to the 1994 team that competed in Hiroshima, which was composed of the core of the San Miguel Beermen who won the All-Filipino Cup that year, some players of the Purefoods Hotdogs, Alaska's Johnny Abarrientos, and amateurs Kenneth Duremdes and Marlou Aquino. That team settled for fourth place.