Alfrancis Chua denied rumors that the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is taking over the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) soon.
“No. That’s not true,” the SMC sports director said when asked about it after the PBA Press Corps Awards at the Novotel Manila Araneta City Tuesday night. At the event, he received his second Danny Floro Executive of the Year award.
“Ang hirap niyan ‘pag nag-take over, parang coup d’etat ‘yun. Hindi, walang ganung usapan. Siguro yung utak nila at utak namin, paghahaluin para mas gumanda.”
Such a rumor swirled when a photo featuring the who’s who of the country’s two biggest conglomerates circulated online just last week.
There, SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang could be seen shaking hands with First Pacific Investments chairman Manny V. Pangilinan. With them were Chua, SBP president Al Panlilio, and PBA chairman Ricky Vargas.
The meeting was about basketball and business. Chua disclosed that issues discussed included the addition of Ginebra head coach Tim Cone to Chot Reyes’ staff and, of course, the FIBA World Cup 2023.
But for the former player and coach, simply witnessing the two blocs long viewed as rivals in so many ways meeting was a sight to behold.
“Maganda yung usapan nila. For me, it doesn’t matter kung ano pinag-usapan. Opening the door between my boss and Sir MVP, that’s good for the sports in the Philippines. Yan yung sa akin,” he expressed.
“Mga two hours lang. Merienda. Kwentuhan talaga. Talagang magandang kwentuhan. Yung kwentuhan nila, napakaluwag. Nakakaluwag sa damdamin ko.”
Will he have an active role in the 2023 Worlds? Chua was asked as much, and said that he’ll contribute what he can and when needed.
“Actually, Chairman Ricky asked my boss if I can help. Sabi ko ang dami kong ginagawa — pag-alis niyo nga maglilinis pa ‘ko ng lamesa, papatayin ko ‘yung ilaw. De, totoong sinabi ko sa kanila yun kaharap si MVP,” he shared laughing. “Kung anong kaya nating i-cip in bakit hindi? Pag may tatanungin sila, baka sakaling makatulong tayo, tutulong tayo, ‘di ba?
“Ngayon kung cheering squad tayo, wala tayong problema,” he added. “Buhay natin ‘to, basketball. Kung ano maitutulong natin sa Pilipinas.”