THE unexpected reshuffling involving the Manny Pangilinan owned Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals in the PBA and the Smart-Gilas Pilipinas team might bring back unity among the amateur stakeholders of basketball as well as a stronger Philippine presence in Fiba.

A few days ago, TNT manager Frankie Lim was assigned by Pangilinan to replace Noli Eala as the team manager of Smart Gilas; Virgil Villavecencio took over Lim’s job as the Phone Pals team manager; while Eala gets to focus on his job as the executive director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

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“It’s a good move. Frankie has the experience as a team manager. He also had an experience as a national player and as a coach of San Beda. The idea of bringing in Frankie to the national team has relieved me of the daily task of handling the affairs of the Gilas team. It will now allow me to focus more on the programs of SBP as well as the other teams besides Gilas,” Eala said in a text message to Sun.Star Cebu.

The new order will take effect on Feb. 1.

Eala’s main concern now is to become a part of the Southeast Asian Basketball Association, that could get him a seat to Fiba-Asia.

In addition, Eala will now have more time in taking an active role in the proposed merger of the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) and his brainchild—the Liga Pilipinas.

The new league can also become a farm tournament for the PBA.