Never again. Hey wait, let's turn to the next paragraph before we start hitting the streets or hiding in the mountains once again.
Yeah right, we're talking about the recent—albeit unofficial—pronouncement by the PBA Officer-In-Charge Willie Marcial.
What were you thinking? 😉
He mentioned about the possibility of lifting the one-player-per-team loaning policy to the Gilas pool (actually two players if we include the cadets who were distributed to all PBA clubs and intended to be Gilas pool shoo-ins). That's why fans would always ask, why can't we have JMF and Lassiter (or even Cabagnot, Arwind, and a lot more) from the powerhouse SMB team? We miss Paul Lee too because he's (*cough*) injured last time, right? But in effect we can't have him and another veteran from Magnolia (now we doubt the rebranded #PambansangManok PBA club will be generous enough to let more of their players join a #ManokNgBayan-sponsored national team program).
Why not get Japeth and Greg together with Tenorio, still one of the league's most elite playmaker? Or how about 5 more unconventional players from KIA?
That was always one of the difficult parts in forming the Gilas national pool. Of course at this stage we're all aware about the so called sweet rivalry between the MVP and SMC groups in the PBA. And that's why things got a little bit complicated. Remember in the last Gilas 3.0, when Marc Pingris was very eager to represent our country but because of this complication the infamous line was born: "...may mga bagay na hindi natin kontrolado". Therefore the team owners eventually arrived at a consensus that each team must make one player available for the Gilas cause. Of course we saw non-SMC teams offering more than what was agreed upon. But we all know that we are capable of forming one formidable pool if only we exhaust all possible resources in the PBA. But our forming of the best possible lineup always ends up creating—a mythical team.
As fans of the national team we're hoping that this is the silver lining we all have been hoping to see one day. PBA OIC Marcial seems sincere about it. And he knew exactly the root of the matter. We can actually form the strongest Gilas team if we make all the potential talents available and up for grabs. (Of course ample preparation is a different story.)
Can we finally say #NeverAgain?
We hope and pray so. It's about time. We all know that Gilas is PBA, and that should be vice versa. If we're to look at the other pro leagues in Asia for instance, their national team and premier pro league go hand in hand. Of course that's also how the PBA wants to project itself vis-à-vis the national team program. But in the not-so-distant past were the in-betweens, the grey areas that created the dramas and all that. Perhaps our team owners can finally and genuinely be united. And we're hopeful that with PBA OIC Willie's stewardship, he can finally etch this one on a tablet and finally raise on top of a once insurmountable mountain as a symbol of harmony, a testament of commitment to the Gilas program. Behold, one rule that binds us all—the Marcial Law.