SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director lamented the exit of Tao Corporation as major backer of the Philippine Youth team.
The move, according to Barrios, could flush down the drain whatever gains the SBP programs had achieved for both its Under-16 and Under-18 teams the past five years behind the support of Tao Corporation head Joel Lopa.
“Tumatamlay talaga ang Under-18 natin. Sayang kasi unti-unti na tayong bumabalik,” said Barrios in reaction to a Spin.ph story announcing the withdrawal of financial support by the local distributor of Nokia phones to the country’s basketball youth squad.
“Imagine, pumasok na tayo sa top four ng Asia,” added the SBP official, obviously referring to the consecutive fourth-place finishes two separate youth teams under coaches Eric Altamirano and Olsen Racela in the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championships the last three years.
For now, Barrios is still keeping his fingers crossed the group of Lopa and businessman Jun Sy will have a change of heart and continue supporting the campaign of the team.
Nonetheless, the SBP executive director maintained the support of Manny V. Pangilinan, who recently earned another four-year term as head of the country’s sole governing body for basketball, to the youth squad will always be there.
“Subukan ulit kung pwede pang paki-usapan sila Tao Corporation. Pero we’ll double our efforts para makahanap ng makakasama maliban sa MVP group,” Barrios stated.
The 2013 Fiba Asia Under-16 unit is already being formed for the Tehran Iran meet, although up to now, the SBP can only name the head coach of the team in Jamike Jarin.
“Wala pa talaga kaming ma-i-divulge sa ngayon. Kaya nga humihingi rin kami ng tulong sa media baka may biglang dumating na supporter. Kailangang-kailangan natin yun,” said said the former PBA commissioner.