Photo from Remy Martin's Facebook page

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Remy Martin's eligibility issue prompts SBP to exclude him in Gilas pool for World Cup

by Niel Victor Masoy, June 16, 2019 11:07pm

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas excluded Filipino-American Remy Martin in the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the FIBA World Cup due to his eligibility issue.

In a statement by SBP president Al Panlilio, the country’s basketball governing body said it was glad to include Martin in the Gilas program.The US NCAA standout’s time to don the national colors, however, is just not this time yet.

SBP is still addressing the issue as to whether Martin has already secured a Philippine passport before turning 16 years old - a tall task to address as there are only two months left before the world meet.

“We are more than happy to accommodate Remy and make him part of our Gilas Pilipinas program,” Panlilio said.

“However, we are constrained by the FIBA rules which provide that a player hoping to play as a local must have a local passport before reaching the age of 16. That is one area that we are trying to address.”

In his social media pages, the 20-year-old Martin shared he was hurt to learn that he was not included in the pool of players Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao called up.

The fiery mentor opted to use the core of the national basketball team in the sixth window of the World Cup qualifiers.

Martin though was glad just to be considered to play for Gilas, and he hopes to play for the country in the future.

“Just got a call and I will not be representing the Philippines in the world games,” the six-foot point guard alluded to SBP’s call.

“It was an honor to be mentioned. I will always represent (the Philippines). Maybe next time!”

Meanwhile, Panlilio -the new second VP in the FIBA Asia Board- shared that he will broach up the issue of rules on players’ eligibility and hopefully made some changes on it.

“The issue on eligibility will again be raised in the next FIBA eligibility meeting. My position as the second VP in the FIBA Asia Board gives us an opportunity to revisit the rules on eligibility and push for reforms.”

Lastly, Panlilio is grateful of knowing Martin’s desire to play for the Philippines, and said that the SBP will leave no stone unturned to make it happen.

“We are thankful to Remy for his sincere interest to play for our flag and country. We, in the SBP, are trying to do everything to make that a reality.”

Martin put up 12.9 points, 5.0 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals as the starting point guard in his sophomore year with the Arizona State University Sun Devils.

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