Resolution calls for Senate investigation into Gilas’ treatment

FIVE senators have called for a legislative inquiry into the treatment of Gilas Pilipinas one year away from the 2023 Fiba World Cup.

Bong Go, Mark Villar, Joel Villanueva, Francis Tolentino and Alan Peter Cayetano tabled Senate Resolution No. 83 urging the Senate Athletics Committee to “conduct an investigation in support of legislation on ways to support the team men’s basketball game of Gilas Pilipinas”.

Among the main objectives sought by the five senators is a review of “relevant laws and policies to ensure optimal performance in future international sports competitions”.

Gilas Pilipinas, under head coach and concurrent program director Chot Reyes, has been in hot water since winning silver at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi and finishing ninth at the Fiba Asian Cup 2022 in Jakarta.

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Fan outcry was sparked by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP)’s decision to replace Baldwin with Reyes, which led Gilas to a silver medal at the 2013 Fiba Asian Cup and a return to the Cup of the Fiba World in Spain.

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However, Gilas have only won three times in their last 11 games with Reyes back in charge of the program. The loss at the SEA Games marked the first time the Philippines failed to secure gold since 1989 while the Fiba Asian Cup saw Gilas finish outside the Final Eight for the first time since 2007 .

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Now the Senate will seek answers,

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“The passionate Filipino fans of Gilas have demanded that the team be given more support in order to improve the team’s performance in international competitions,” reads the resolution.

“There is an urgent need to review sports-related laws and policies that aim to support Philippine national teams participating in international competitions and review all related measures that will ensure the competitiveness and well-being of Filipino athletes.”

Curiously, Senator Sonny Angara is the chairman of the SBP who chairs a general meeting on Monday at the PLDT office in Makati.

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Norman D. Briggs