FORMER PBA player Zaldy Realubit has resigned as head coach of Asean Basketball League (ABL) side Pilipinas Aguilas amid accusations of shabby treatment and unpaid wages as well as an apparent disagreement between the co-owners.
Realubit told Spin.ph he stepped down out of frustration with management, claiming the Aguilas coaching staff had not been paid wages for the past two months and the team had to endure woeful conditions in its first two ABL games, which it split.
“Hindi ko na kaya ang pamamalakad nila. Magulo 'yung team eh,” said Realubit, a 16-year PBA veteran. “Hindi kami sumasahod na coaching staff for two months. Okay lang sa akin pero yung mga assistant coaches, hindi pinapasweldo, nakakaawa naman.”
Realubit also said the team had not been given enough support in practices and in games, claiming problems with their bookings and hotel accommodations left the players tired and ill-prepared for a home game in Davao against Thai side Mono Vampire and an away game in Malaysia.
The team was named as the Pacquiao Powervit Pilipinas Aguilas when it was launched as the new Philippine representative to the regional league, supposedly a partnership between boxing hero Manny Pacquiao and businessman Dick Balajadia.
Contacted for comment by Spin.ph, Balajadia claimed he decided to take full control of the team as there was no assurance of support from the side of Pacquiao. He has also informed the ABL that he has re-christened the team Pilipinas MX3 Kings, Balajadia added.
“Kahapon inannounce ko sa ABL na hindi na ko Pacquiao Powervit - Pilipinas MX3 Kings [na] - 'yung reason behind dun is hindi tayo nasuportahan ni Manny. Ayaw ko sanang ilabas sa media 'yun. Walang pinapasok na suporta sa akin,” said Balajadia, who was in Hong Kong when reached by Spin.ph.
“Ang gusto niyang usapan, siya na ang mag may–ari ng team bago siya umalis. Ang problema, bago umalis wala namang malinaw na usapan,” he said.
Pacquiao, who is also playing coach of the Mahindra Enforcers in the PBA, is on an overseas trip with his family and cannot be reached for comment.
Former Aguilas team manager Sergei Bien Orillo, who like Realubit has also resigned, said Pacquiao has pulled out of the ABL team after failing to take over the management of the young ballclub.
“Si Balajadia na ang may-ari nyan, nag pull-out na si Manny nung Tuesday. Gusto ni Manny na mag-take over. Binebenta nila kay Manny ng mas mahal na presyo (yung franchise),” said Orillo.
Orillo and Realubit are members of Team Pacquiao who have been appointed to the team. Orillo said Pacquiao has been discouraged from providing support by the confusing set-up in the partnership.
“Hindi pa nagbibigay si Manny kasi na-discourage sa kanila, dahil aalisin din nila isa-isa yung mga tauhan ni Manny sa team. Yun din dahilan kaya nag-resign na lang kami,” said Orillo.
"Hindi naman problema kay Manny ang pera, kailan ba naging problema kay Manny ang pera. Magulo kasi sila kausap. Sa franchise fee pa lang, hindi na nasunod yung hatian eh.”