SBP board wants to make Manny Pangilinan chairman emeritus; MVP cold on plan
SBP chairman Oscar Moreno  acknowledged the many things the association accomplished under the eight-year term of Manny V. Pangilinan as president that they simply can't let him walk away. Reuben Terrado

THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) board is not about to let Manny V. Pangilinan ride off into the sunset once his term as president of the cage federation ends three months from now.

SBP chairman Oscar Moreno bared plans by the 25-man board – or at least half of those present during Thursday’s meeting at the PLDT office in Makati – to name Pangilinan as chairman emeritus of the association.

If ever, Pangilinan will be the first person to assume the position, still subject to the approval of the general membership, since the SBP was recognized by the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) as the country’s sole governing body for the sport in 2007, replacing the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP).

“The board overwhelmingly, and I moved it myself personally, approved the creation of the position of chairman emeritus subject to the approval of the general membership during the special meeting in January,” said Moreno during the hastily-called press conference after the SBP board meeting, where Pangilinan announced he’s no longer eligible to seek the federation presidency after two consecutive terms.

[See Pangilinan 'retires' as basketball head to pave way for fresh leadership]

Moreno said Pangilinan opposed the move only to be prevailed upon by the board later on.

“We had a long discussion on the chairman emeritus thing. Mr. Pangilinan was understandably very reluctant, but I’m glad we prevailed upon him over his objection to create the position of chairman emeritus subject to the approval of the general membership during the January general assembly,” said the Cagayan de Oro City mayor.

The SBP chairman acknowledged the many things the association accomplished under the eight-year term of Pangilinan as president that they simply can't let him walk away.

“Basketball has made tremendous strides under the leadership of Mr. Pangilinan. He even became a Fiba Central Board member in recognition of the tremendous effort that he has made here in the Philippines,” said Moreno.

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“SBP still needs his support and guidance in this era.”

[See MVP to PBA: 'Help us build strong Gilas team and we'll bid for Olympic qualifiers]

Again, Moreno made it clear the creation of the position is still pending, depending on the decision of the general membership, and yes, even Pangilinan himself.

“At the end of the day, it’s still subject to his acceptance. And I hope for the sake of Philippine basketball, Mr. Pangilinan will accept it,” added the SBP chairman.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos