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    COLUMN: The SBP does not deserve Chooks 3x3

    Jun 12, 2021
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
    spin zone

    CHICAGO -- Like that tasty, succulent bird from the Chooks empire that he had built from the ground up, Ronald Mascriñas is apparently just as good when it comes to real talk.

    And like his famous roasted chicken, Mascariñas' educated opinions on 3x3 basketball taste amazing.

    Kahit walang sauce.

    If there is some bitterness felt, it must have been the portions served to the PBA and the SBP, the two entities which the blunt Mascariñas blamed directly for our country's humiliating showing at the recent FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

    We were so hopeful in that quest, holding our collective breaths in anticipation and only to be mortified seeing our players walk straight into an ambush against superior competition.

    Seemingly unprepared, the Josuah Monzon-led crew got quickly overwhelmed and creamed by a total of 78-49. The coup de Graz, pun intended, was finishing dead last in Austria.

    I was asked to join today's virtual press conference where Ronald expressed his genuine take on the debacle. Declining that invitation just went down as one of the greatest regrets of my sporting life.

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    Hearing those sugarcoat-free assessments in real Zoom time must have been therapeutic, cathartic for suffering 3x3 fans such as myself.

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    In my long history of being a reporter I've heard government officials speak in so many tongues I often wonder if they are related to lemurs or capable of spitting out the truth.

    And here comes Mascariñas, a CEO in shining, shimmering armor. A private citizen standing in a very public stage, he showed an honesty that was refreshing.

    "DOOMED FROM THE VERY START," HE SAID.

    "Paano magpapadala sa Olympic Qualifying yung isang team na hindi man lang nakapaglaro in a single tournament."

    It's hideous, really.

    That's like a boxer who enters the ring for a fight without the benefit of a single round of sparring.

    This, by the way, is a critical aspect in the Austrian tragedy that the SBP has yet to address publicly.

    If SBP is prone to quickly taking credit when things go well, why is it so ice-age slow in liquidating failure?

    Just asking. Please serve answers when ready, with no sauce and half-truths, if possible.

    Mascariñas' comments carry so much credible weight because he is not just yelling from the bleachers. He is cajoling from the sidelines as the brains and pockets behind a successful Chooks To Go 3x3 program that is respected around the globe and recognized by FIBA.

    Mascariñas did not rant. He merely echoed a nation's heartfelt disappointment.

    "Nakakalungkot that the intention to give pride to our country is sorely missing. Unless they change their ways wala akong nakikitang sense in working those kinds of personalities right now."

    Mascariñas revealed that his company was not included in the preparations of the OQT despite bankrolling the 3x3 national team in previous years.

    Not involving Chooks "as if we do not exist" is not just stupid and reckless, it's got to be borderline wicked.

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    I mean, how can they not utilize the assets and resources of an already-established program that has proven to be excellent at 3x3?

    The answers, which ingloriously entered to smear the scene, come in P letters.

    Personal pride and politics.

    "Basically the issue was credit na dapat pasasalamatan ang SBP, pasasalamatan si Boss Al (Panlilio) etc. Sa akin I will say thank you, I will credit people who for it. But wag niyo akong sabihan magpasalamat ako sa ganitong tao na ganyan at lumuhod ako."

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      Just to be clear, expressing gratitude is not beneath Mascariñas because "thank yous" bounce around his walls like a soothing, beautiful work of Mozart.

      But Ronald is not gullible, either. He did not become insanely wealthy by making a habit of genuflecting in the altar of someone he believes does not deserve it.

      Can you blame him?

      Only fools would.

      Go do your 3x3 thing, Mr. Mascariñas and make our country proud in your own excellent way.

      Continue reading below ↓

      The PBA and the SBP do not deserve you.
      ___

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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