Gilas can’t afford to lose Jordan On his way to Taiwan league


JORDAN Heading’s next stint in Taiwan could set a bad precedent that could affect Gilas Pilipinas’ progress in upcoming tournaments.

This is an issue the National Federation is trying to avoid by seeking clarification from Fiba and the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA) regarding the news that goalkeeper Fil-Aussie has signed with the Taichung Suns in the T1 League.

The overseas title (no pun intended) surprised the SBP, especially with the long-haired guard still under contract with the national federation after being placed first overall in Gilas’s special round of the draft. PBA season 46 rookies last March.

But this is where the confusion begins.

Terrafirma, the team that picked the 6-foot-2 goalie, only owns Heading’s PBA rights. The “living and legal” contract is between him and the SBP, committing him to be part of the Gilas pool until March 2023.

The problem, however, is that this deal is only with the national team and technically it has no binding contract with a professional club.

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It is this warning, sources revealed, this allowed Taichung to gain Fiba’s clearance and allowed the Suns to move forward in signing Heading.

The SBP is currently clearing up the current situation with Fiba and CTBA, a situation it is handling with immense care, especially with the opening of more opportunities abroad and a number of International baseball clubs interested in young Filipino players, especially those who are part of the Gilas Pool.

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Remember that the SBP has nine players under contract: Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, twins Matt and Mike Nieto and Allyn Bulanadi of the 2019 draft class; and Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel and Jaydee Tungcab from batch 2021.

If Heading’s signing gets the green light, what would stop other foreign teams from signing other pool members?

There is no doubt that these stays abroad would benefit the individual growth of these players. But these go straight to the SBP’s plans to form a cohesive squad that can be competitive for upcoming tournaments next year in the run-up to the 2023 Fiba World Cup.

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Keep in mind: The main reason for Gilas’ 4-0 sweep (including a pair of wins over Korea) in the 2021 Fiba Asian Cup qualifiers at Clark last June as well as his solid outing in the Fiba Olympic qualifying tournament in Belgrade was the a lot of time the team spent inside their training bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy, forging the chemistry and understanding the system of coach Tab Baldwin in time full for nearly three months before going to war.

It is this model that the SBP seeks to duplicate as it is slowly bringing young prospects to the fold as the Fiba World Cup approaches.

Players can reiterate their commitments to the national team whenever they’re called up, but with most of Gilas’ prospects based overseas and the current quarantine guidelines restricting travel, how long would he leave them for? to train and fully immerse yourself in the team? So small.

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Take, for example, Fiba’s February window.

Although the Japan B.League are allocating a two to three week break to adjust to international windows, the bigger question will be how much time players like Thirdy Ravena and Dwight Ramos have to come home and go. train with the team.

It’s all the more difficult for Kai Sotto of the National Basketball League (NBL) in Australia, Lebron Lopez of Overtime Elite (OTE), and even Heading in the T1 League in Taiwan, whose leagues don’t even make a pause for Fiba windows.

SBP would appreciate these players being able to spend at least a month with the hen before the Asian Fiba World Cup qualifiers, but the question of whether their respective home clubs will allow them to leave for Gilas duty is not. frozen.

Frankly, there really isn’t much of a difference between this current SBP dilemma and the old system where players are called PBA teams and have little time to prepare with Gilas.

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Sadly, this is where the SBP may soon find itself, again, especially as college leagues like the UAAP and NCAA plan to resume athletic competitions by Q1 2022.

This makes this question of Heading a critical issue for the SBP. And in all fairness, this is a stalemate that Gilas and the National Federation cannot afford to lose.

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