MJAS Zenith-Talisay City manager Jhon Santos admitted that the players’ status in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League could be affected now that they are about to see action in the forthcoming Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.
Such has become a concern as the players set to represent the Aquastars in the new pro league are the same ones who play for Val City Carga Backload Solution in the league founded by boxing great Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
“Bago kami nakapag-decide na sumali rito sa VisMin, ‘yan ‘yung masyadong mahaba ‘yung paguusap,” the amiable executive told the Philippine Sportswriters’ Association Forum webcast powered by SMART, has Upstream as media partner, and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.
“Kasi sa totoo lang, ‘yung team namin maaapektuhan ng todo. Kasi ‘di ba, alam naman natin na ang ex-pro na kayang bitbitin sa MPBL is five to seven lang, kami buong team ‘yung magiging pro.”
That is why the team’s top brass, according to Santos, has already written letters to the powers-that-be, explaining the rationale behind their decision to join the first-ever pro league in the Southern region.
“Kaya gumawa kami ng mga letters, mga pakiusap. Nagpaalam naman kami, na ginagawa lang namin ‘yung pagsali sa VisMin para magkaroon ng income ‘yung mga players,” he shared.
Santos explained that their players’ welfare was really on top of their mind when they decided to take part in the Super Cup, badly wanting to help them after seeing their struggles amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Actually yung team namin obvious naman na for MPBL talaga so dahil gusto rin namin matulungan yung mga players tapos ito yung opportunity na lumabas, yung VisMin, kaya sinali namin yung buong team,” he said.
“Nakita namin ‘yung hirap [ng mga players], so as management tingin ko hindi na namin matitiis na hindi gumawa ng medyo mabigat na decision para lang ipakita sa kanila yung support namin.”
Asked if there might be other conflicts that could arise in the future such as the schedule, Santos doesn’t foresee any.
“Sa ngayon, ‘yung teams sa VisMin… Until May or June yung VisMin, so kung sakali yung MPBL is June 12 magii-start, tingin ko naman hindi magkakaroon ng conflict sa schedule,” he offered.
“Isipin na lang namin yung pagbalik sa MPBL ‘pag andyan na. Sa ngayon, ang importante sa amin mabigyan kahit papaano ng income ‘yung mga players.”
For now, the Puma-backed crew only has its sights set on the Super Cup, which is set to raise its curtains in April. And for Santos, he sees his team being part of the regional pro league for a long time.
“Hanggang andyan yung VisMin, andyan din yung team na kasali sa kanila,” he said.
“Kasi sa tagal nung pandemic, sila yung nagbukas ng una. So parang malaki na rin ‘yung utang na loob na magkaroon ng income yung mga players, lahat ng part ng team. Tingin ko naman hindi namin sila iiwanan.”