MANILA — Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes thinks there is a strong possibility for Filipinos to play in the Euro league, and he is confident that the skill levels of local players are comparable to those of their counterparts in Europe.
[box type=”default” size=”large”] Euro coaches inquire about skills of Gilas players [/box]In his Twitter post, Reyes said that he was able to talk to some basketball officials during his stop in Slovenia where he watched the Euro Basketball Championship. Some, Reyes said, inquired about the skills of Gilas Pilipinas players.
Though he did not mention any player in particular, Reyes said that speed would be crucial for any Gilas player to make it to the Euro league.
One player that comes to mind is Jayson Castro, who is nicknamed the “Blur” in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and was named to the Mythical Team in the last FIBA Asia Championship held in Manila.
Via @coachot on the popular networking site, Reyes said: “My Euro friends asked who I think among the Pinoys can play in the Euro league. I said we don’t have the size, but we have speed, blinding speed…”
He added, “If these new connections prosper, I think having a Pinoy play in Euroleague is not a remote possibility now and that’s Great for PBA!”
Gilas Pilipinas, the national team, clinched a spot in the World Championship in Spain next year after it beat arch rival South Korea in the semifinals of the Asian championship last August. The Filipinos settled for the silver medal after they lost to Iran in the Finals.
In Europe, Reyes said that he got positive feedback about the talent level of the Filipinos as well as the hosting by the Philippines of FIBA Asia.
Reyes posted on Twitter: “RP FIBA hosting goes all the way to EuroBasket. NBA scouts, Euroleague officials, agents – have nothing but great feedback for Manila…Remember, there were 6 European coaches in FIBA Asia – all gave glowing praises to Pinoys’ hoops passion. Now we can tune up vs them.”
So far, Reyes said that he already arranged tune-up games against Argentina, Spain, Angola, the Dominican Republic, France and New Zealand. He expected three teams more from the Euro League after the tournament in Slovenia. (Waylon Galvez, Manila Bulletin)