SBP hoping for continuity as Al Panlilio groomed to take MVP place in August 8 elections
Al Panlilio was CEO of the local organizing committee in the last Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament and is also the head of the MVP Sports Foundation. Jaime Campos

CHANGE is about to come for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) as its congress is set to convene and finally hold a long-delayed election of its new board of trustees tentatively set on August 8.

Pushed back from earlier this year, the congress of the governing body for the country’s No. 1 sport holds its election that will see Manny V. Pangilinan formally relinquish his post as SBP president, along with 12 other board members whose terms have lapsed.

The congress will elect 25 board members, who will then elect the new set of officers, including the position of president, according to outgoing SBP executive director Sonny Barrios when he guested in the Phlippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

Outgoing SBP vice president Al Panlilio is being groomed to succeed Pangilinan.  

“The preferred successor by Mr. Pangilinan is Mr. Al Panlilio,” Barrios said of the man who also held the position as CEO of the recent Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament local organizing committee.  “A big part of the success of the OQT is due to his leadership, so we’re looking forward to working with him.”

“But it’s just a preference,” he was quick to add. “MVP respects the congress and the board na sila ang may prerogative and right na pumili ng mamumuno sa federation.”

Asked of the effect of the election of the new set of leaders on the future of the Gilas Pilipinas program, Barrios declined to speculate.

“Ayaw kong isipin yun dahil malulungkot ako,” he said, adding he has yet to hear any name other than Panlilio’s being floated to run for the SBP presidency.

Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, who accompanied Barrios to the forum, echoed the SBP executive director’s sentiments, saying he is hoping for continuity.

“Basta ang bagong leader si Al, tuloy ang Gilas, pero kung (iba), I’d (rather not comment),” he said.

Barrios bared there were moves within the current board to amend the constitution and extend the stay of those termed-out officials, including that of Pangilinan.

“Specifically the term of Mr. Pangilinan, because he is the prime mover of SBP, but Mr. Pangilinan, himself, said no,” Barrios said. “When we formed the SBP, that’s precisely the objective: not to propagate personalities, but institutionalize and strengthen the organization.”

“So hindi po tayo natatakot dahil paniwala naman na we have enough sports leaders and basketball minds in the country with basketball being the most popular and most-followed sport,” he added.


Anyway, Pangilinan, Barrios said, holds the position of chairman emeritus, giving him the right to still attend board meetings.

“Kasi importante na nandun siya para nasusundan niya yung activities. He will be behind the SBP as strongly as he has been doing,” Barrios said, adding termed-out vice chairman Ricky Vargas has also been named senior adviser of the chairman emeritus with the same right. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos