By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) officially began its off-season works in strengthening the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team after welcoming one of the biggest names in Philippine basketball.
Alfrancis Chua, San Miguel Corporation’s renowned sports patron, was just appointed as the national team’s executive advisor as part of their preparations for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup.
The latest move was made official after SBP’s successful board meeting together with the different PHL basketball stakeholders that happened on August 1.
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial then announced Chua’s appointment during the halftime of the PHL Cup semifinals between the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok and the TNT Tropang Giga.
“Ni-nominate si Alfrancis Chua as executive advisor to Gilas and SBP. Papayagan naman siya ni Boss RSA (Ramon S. Ang),” said Marcial.
Chua is currently the governor of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the sports director of the San Miguel Beermen playing in the PBA.
Aside from his involvement with two of the winningest basketball franchises in the PBA, Chua is also a sports official at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
“Malaki yung role niya sa SBP. Siya kakausap sa player. Yung practice gusto nga niya every Monday na e. Sabi ko nga, kailangan mag-gel e. Kung ilang araw mo lang bubuuin, wala rin. Kailangan talaga may chemistry,” added Marcial.
Also, part of SMC’s coaching staff from Ginebra, mentor Tim Cone, was hired earlier to be an assistant to head coach Chot Reyes together with UP’s Goldwyn Monteverde, Nenad Vucinic, and Jong Uichico.