Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Toroman wants pros to fully commit with Gilas

Rajko Toroman is batting for Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) cagers to fully concentrate their time and effort with the Smart Gilas team if and when the pro league lends its players again for the national cause.

While not making any excuses, the national developmental team coach said fatigue and lack of cohesiveness were the reasons why the squad failed in its campaign in the last Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

Although reinforced by PBA players Asi Taulava, Kelly Williams and Sol Mercado, the team didn’t really have the chance to practice as a complete roster until a month before the November 12 to 28 quadrennial meet, as the three pro cagers had to divide their time playing for their mother ball clubs and Smart Gilas.

The end result saw the nationals ending up at sixth place, their worst showing in the Asiad since 1966.

“The biggest problem we had then was they’re (PBA players) playing for their mother teams and practicing with us twice. That’s not enough. We need to play solid for two or three months as a complete team," said Toroman in the weekly PSA Forum.

“We got quality players with Asi, Kelly and Sol, but we didn’t get into game shape. The PBA players gave us a lot defensively, but we didn’t really get the time to jell."

Gilas is gearing up for the FIBA-Asia men’s qualifying tournament to the 2012
London Olympics, where only one slot will be given to the Asian region.

The meet is set from September 15 to 25 in China, with Toroman again hoping to get manpower help from the PBA in addition to fielding 6-foot-11 naturalized player Marcus Douthit.

But Toroman’s appeal will all depend on the result of the landmark meeting among PBA team owners on January 25.

The major involvement of the PBA in the training and possible formation of the national squad is among the key issues to be addressed during the rare gathering of the country’s top business and corporate officials.

“The most important thing is for us to be together with the PBA players for three months," he said.

As part of Smart Gilas’ preparation for the biennial event, the team is leaving for the Dubai international basketball meet on the 16th. – KY, JVP, GMANews.TV

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