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Tiebreaker Times


Blackwater looks to sell PBA franchise as Sy frustrated with allegations

Blackwater Elite owner Dioceldo Sy has had enough.

The president of Ever Bilena has announced that it is planning to sell its PBA franchise, citing that the allegations raised against his team are wrong.

“Well, number one, I was excited about the reopening of the PBA. It came out in the interview last Monday that I said we will be starting practices with IATF protocol. Actually, nung Sabado, there were two players from my team shooting around. Siguro sa excitement ko, we were announcing that we will be practicing in groups. ‘Yung dalawang nag-shooshoot, nasabihan ko nag-prapractice. Eh actually hindi naman siya practice because I had a meeting with my coach. At that time, the two players were just shooting around with a ball boy,” Sy told Tiebreaker Times.

“Tapos bigla na ‘kong tinitira na may violations na ‘ko sa IATF at si GAB, si Baham Mitra nakisawsaw. Mayroon ba kayong ebidensya na may violation ako? Then they want me to sanction after a non-issue,” he continued.

“Kung ganun lang, eh ‘di bebenta ko na lang ‘yung franchise habang may bibili.”

Sy’s frustrations stem from an interview with Sports Page. During the interview, the 62-year-old entrepreneur said that he was able to see the team train under strict health guidelines that will be implemented by the league once practices are allowed.

The Games and Amusement Board then said that Blackwater faces potential sanctions from both the agency and the PBA for returning to practice prematurely.

PBA teams are only allowed to return sometime next week.

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“It was just a shoot-around with two players and a ballboy,” said Sy, adding that he was misquoted.

“So ngayon benta ko na lang. It will be hard for me to support the PBA if my heart is no longer there.”

After being one of the founding fathers of the PBA D-League, Blackwater moved to the big league back in 2014.

The Elite has only made the PBA playoffs four times, and has never reached the semis.

Overall, Blackwater has tallied a 49-124 slate.

For Sy — who bought the franchise for PHP 120M — losing the team will just be one less problem for him.

“Eh ‘di nawala na rin ‘yung isang burden ko. The team has been a burden to me the last four to five months. I’m paying full salary and when I suggested to cut the players’ salary to half, ayaw nila. It’s so unfair to my employees na I am imposing no work, no pay to some of my employees while the players are getting paid in full,” said Sy. as majority of Ever Bilena’s outlets nationwide are still closed.

“The players naman are okay in getting paid in half, but it’s the PBA who is not agreeing to my proposal. Eh ako nakikisama, eh ‘di pagbigyan.”

Sy is looking at a PHP 150M price for his team. According to him, there are many agents who have been calling him up with interest in buying it.

Asked if there’s a possibility of a change of heart in the following days, Sy does not think so.

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“Now, they are planning to sanction me on a non-issue. Eh ‘di benta ko na lang? ‘Kala nila I’m just bluffing or joking pero puno na ko eh. I am willing to write to the IATF and explain what happened,” Sy stressed.

“It’s just two players shooting around. So what’s wrong?”

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