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19th Asian Games

Vargas bares one PBA player ‘asked for the moon’ to play for Gilas

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas revealed that two players considered for Gilas Pilipinas for the 19th Asian Games were ultimately taken out of the plan after asking a hefty price tag in exchange for their services to the national team.

The long-time sportsman shared as much during Monday’s press conference at the league’s office in Libis, Quezon City — days after the Filipino dribblers’ golden accomplishment in the recently-concluded continental conclave.

“I spoke to one player that we wanted to play for the team,” he recalled. “He said, ‘Yes, I love the country, I will play for the team.’

Then he says, ‘Talk to my manager.’ Then the manager came back and said, ‘He will play as long as you pay him.’ Then I went to Alfrancis and to Tim. Tim and Alfrancis said no. He’s asking for the moon. He’s going to destroy the team.”

By “asking for the moon,” according to Vargas, meant that the player’s asking price was “even greater than what we paid for our own naturalized player.”

“He’s going to destroy the team,” said the TNT Tropang Giga governor, who did not reveal the identities of those players. “He was not the only one. There was another one that we also asked, and Alfrancis said no.”

2023-FIBA-WC-Slovenia-vs-Canada-Alfrancis-Chua Vargas bares one PBA player 'asked for the moon' to play for Gilas 19th Asian Games Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports newsThat’s why San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua couldn’t be any prouder of the 12 men that willingly fought for flag and country in the Hangzhou Games without asking for anything in return.

No doubt that their selflessness got rewarded, as they all went back home with the Philippines’ first Asiad men’s basketball title since 1962.

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“Ni isang player doon, walang tinanong sa’kin, magkano bayad sa’min? Magkano allowance? Wala. That’s the good thing,” said Chua, who served as Gilas’ team manager for the Asian Games.

“They didn’t ask.

“Kaya bilib na bilib ako. ‘Yung sinasabi ni vice chairman (Bobby Rosales), ‘pag unang tanong sa’min magkano, sabi ko, ‘Huwag na, hindi natin kailangan ‘yan.’ We’re just going to play. We’re so proud of the players,” he added. “Even [Justin] Brownlee, even [Ange] Kouame, wala silang hiningi, they just want to win. They didn’t get anything extra just to play for the Asian Games.”

And to make sure that their hard work and sacrifices will be recognized, the players will also be receiving another reward soon coming from SMC president Ramon S. Ang and First Pacific Company CEO Manny V. Pangilinan.

19th-Asian-Games-Gilas-gold Vargas bares one PBA player 'asked for the moon' to play for Gilas 19th Asian Games Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

(c) POC-PSC Media Group

“If may matatanggap sila ngayon, of course, gold eh,” Chua said.

“Boss RSA and Sir MVP, nag-join sila, they’re going to give something to the players.”

Written By

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

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