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PBA governors on SBP’s Asiad pullout: ‘Parang nilaglag kami’


This Friday evening, the Philippine Basketball Association’s board of governors expressed their disappointment over the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ decision to pull out from participating in the 2018 Asian Games.

SBP’s move to withdraw from the meet came just mere hours after the federation and the league had announced that it would be all systems go for the Asiad, which obviously and unexpectedly drew the ire of the governors.

“Parang nilaglag kami,” said Phoenix Fuel Masters alternate governor Raymond Zorilla, who was one of the seven team governors in the presser.

Unfortunately for the governors, it was the PBA who bore the brunt of the netizens’ anger. When the SBP announced the pullout, fans went to social media and pinned the blame on the league, asserting they had played a part in the move.

Netizens claim that the PBA ball clubs have turned selfish in lending players for the national team. The board of governors cried foul, saying they have always been supportive of the national team program ever since.

“Lahat pinapahiram namin. Pilay nga tao ‘di namin mapakinabangan,” said Barangay Ginebra San Miguel governor Alfrancis Chua, citing the San Miguel Beermen’s predicament with Christian Standhardinger’s knee injury.

“Lahat binabanggit na ni Commissioner Willie [Marcial] kung ano pwede. Wala siyang ginawa kundi pakiusapan ang governors para makatulong ang lahat. Kami nag-agree, pero para ibagsak ang sisi sa PBA, mali po ata,” he confessed.

“Payag naman kami, di naman kami tumatangging tumulong,” said Magnolia Hotshots long-time governor Rene Pardo. “Ang sakit na nagre-review kami ng budget, bumababa yung mga gate revenues namin.”

“At the same time, we’re still offering to help flag and country dahil alam namin ang importance niyan. Nakakatulong din sa PBA. ‘Pag maganda ang performance ng Pilipinas, maganda rin ang epekto sa PBA,” added Pardo.

“Handa kaming tumulong, ‘di niyo pwedeng sabihin na magmamaramot kami sa flag and country.”

San Miguel Beermen governor Robert Non, for his part, defended the teams, pointing out that as much as they would love to help the national team, they also have to take into consideration the players’ well-being and their livelihood.

“Mahirap naman yung bigla-biglaan, lahat gusto salihan na tournament tapos PBA lahat kukunin mong players. Mahirap yun,

“PBA e, livelihood nila yan. Pero hanggang ngayon, still the same pa rin support namin,” he said.

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The governors mentioned that they had actually asked Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes several times about the Asiad. According to them, Reyes had only wanted to focus for the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

That is why the governors felt surprised when the SBP, all of a sudden, wanted to take part in the Asiad. The SBP immediately asked for help and the league tried their best to accomodate, only for the federation to back out.

Given that, all that the board was hoping for the SBP to consult the league before handing out any decisions, which they did not, according to the governors.

“When it comes to putting up teams, the best thing SBP could have done last night before making a decision was consult the commissioner and the PBA board, which they did not,” said Alaska Aces’ Dickie Bachmann.

“We were not consulted,” asserted Zorilla.

“‘Pag formation (of decisions) lahat kami dapat kasama, except for this one lang na decision. We were not consulted. Or, we could have just been informed beforehand.”

Still, the board reaffirmed their support of the program even with this unfortunate development. For them, the league will never be closing its doors on the federation, as they are all willing to help for flag and country.

“Even with these sentiments, we’re all out in supporting the SBP. Nagsabi lang kami pero still, support kami,” said Zorilla.

The board was then asked if it would really be best for the Philippines to send a basketball team for the Asiad in Indonesia set in August. They did not answer, saying that it should be the SBP answering that query.

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“Hindi kami pwede sumagot niyan. Sila yan. You’re asking us kung magpapadala doon? SBP yun, ‘di kami,” Chua said.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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