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SBP reveals offers to help Clarkson and co. play as locals

 By Mark Angelo Mañez

SBP President Al Panlilio (PHOTO: ABS-CBN News)

There are people in government who are looking to help the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) in order for some Fil-foreigners to be allowed by FIBA to play for Gilas Pilipinas in international competition.

The SBP has been lobbying for rule changes at FIBA particularly on the eligibility rule that only allows Fil-foreigners to play for the Philippines if they’ve obtained their passport at aged 16 or older.

SBP president Al Panlilio said he has received offers to help out in the predicament of some Fil-foreigners that prevented them from playing for Gilas.

“I will not be able to share the name muna pero one of our congressmen messaged me helping out already on some cases of some players and have sought my advice or at least take a look at the paper that they were looking at,” said Panlilio.

The FIBA eligibility rule has prevented players such as Stanley Pringle of Barangay Ginebra, Christian Standhardinger of NorthPort, and even Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz from playing for Gilas Pilipinas in competitions sanctioned by the international federation as a local since they are categorized as naturalized players in the FIBA context.

FIBA only allows one naturalized player per country in sanctioned tournaments.

Panlilio is happy that there are persons willing to lend a hand, but at the same time, he acknowledges that it will also be hard to convince FIBA to change its rules on eligibility.

“There are people who want to help. These are Filipinos naman talaga based on our constitution and if our government said they are Filipinos, they are Filipinos,” said Panlilio.

“But we have to work it out with FIBA to make them understand, I guess, where they are coming from. We will continue to work,” said Panlilio.


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