MANNY V. Pangilinan hopes the members of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will choose the 'right president' when the national basketball body holds its election this year.
In his acceptance speech during the 2015 Spin.ph Sportsman of the Year awards night on Saturday night, Pangilinan expressed hope that the members of the SBP will vote someone who can sustain the gains of the association since it took over from the Basketball Association of the Philippines.
Under Pangilinan's watch, the SBP was able to convince the Fiba to lift its suspension of the Philippines from international basketball while reviving the national team program, setting the stage for Gilas Pilipinas' runner-up finishes in the last two Fiba Asia tournaments and a return to the Fiba World Cup in 2014.
“I do hope that the members will elect the right president for SBP because I’d like to continue for the group, our group, to support Philippine sports and, of course, Philippine basketball,” said Pangilinan, who was honored as one of Spin.ph's Top Ten Sports Heroes for 2015.
Pangilinan is set to retire from the SBP as the national basketball federation holds its elections in April. The SBP will elect as 25-man board, from which the new president will emerge.
Pangilinan reiterated his earlier statements that he will no longer seek a new term because he is not qualified to do so. Under the SBP constitution, no president can serve in any post for two consecutive terms.
“I will retire as president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas so I would like to say goodbye to all of you. I was encouraged by the board to stay on but the constitution is the constitution of the SBP. I was present in the creation of the constitution, I don’t want to be the first to break it,” said Pangilinan.
Recently, the SBP asked members to submit an updated membership information sheet along with documents proving they hold the required number of tournaments in the last two years in order to be qualified to vote for the polls.
Here's the video of Pangilinan's acceptance speech during the Spin.ph awards.