RAIN or Shine’s desire to represent the country in the Asian Games was denied when the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) decided to pull out from the quadrennial meet at the last minute.
But that won’t stop the Elasto Painters from reaffirming their commitment in supporting the national team program.
A staunch backer of the Philippine team, Rain or Shine has always been open to loaning players in international competitions. Proof of that was its involvement in previous Gilas teams where it released past and present players like Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga and Raymond Almazan, who at one time or another became part of the national quintet.
Raymond Yu, the team owner of the squad that has won two championships and has been a consistent fixture in the playoffs over the past six years, offered a solution to reaffirm the PBA’s commitment to support the national team program.
“If I will have it my way, I would want it a two-conference format in the PBA,” Yu told FOX Sports Philippines. “This will give us more enough time to work on our calendar and we won’t have much trouble worrying about the schedule of teams which are loaning players to the national team.”
In the 2004-05 season, the PBA had its first transition season, accommodating the two-conference format where season was divided into two tournaments — the Philippine Cup and the Fiesta Conference.
That allowed teams not just to get more time preparing for each conference, but also commit themselves to the national team program.
Having a two-conference format, according to Yu, is also economical, but it could also maximize every team’s participation in a tournament.
“Kasi madalas ang nangyayari sa atin we’re fitting our schedule since we’re patterning our calendar and aligning it to the tournaments in FIBA. Ang nangyayari, yung iba 11 games lang then out na agad. They don’t get the exposure that they should get. Whereas, kapag dalawang conference lang, pwede tayong magkaroon ng inter-intra where teams will be divided into two brackets. You can face teams within your group twice and face teams from the other group once. So may 16 games ka na agad,” added Yu.
He also suggested that for every import-laced conference, the league should allow teams to get imports that they need for a tournament.
“Mas maganda sana wala nang limit sa height ng mga imports. If you want to get bigger imports, then they could get one. This would also allow the other teams to reinforce their squad more, particularly teams which have not done well in the previous tournament,” added Yu.