WAS it a knee-jerk reaction or a well-thought-out plan?
A day after being warned by the PBA about a possible violation of quarantine protocol for the team's premature return to practice, Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy bared that he is putting the franchise up for sale.
Sy told SPIN.ph he’s willing to sell the team to any interested buyer and said the whole package could cost around P150 million, or more.
“I’m open to take on interested buyers,” he said on Wednesday. “I’m done with the PBA.”
Philippine Star sports editor Nelson Beltran was the first to break the story in a tweet. Sy told SPIN.ph about his plans in an earlier talk and later posted about the matter on his personal Facebook page.
Just hours earlier, the PBA asked the six-year old ballclub to air its side after Sy bared in an online interview that the Elite have resumed workouts even before being given the green light by the league.
The Games and Amusement Board (GAB) also stepped in, threatening to sanction the ballclub for the violation.
However, Sy, a self-made businessman who now owns Ever Bilena Cosmetics, maker of the Blackwater cologne, aired his disappointment over the PBA action but didn't say if the incident has anything to do with his sudden decision to sell the franchise.
“There’s no big deal or issue,” he said. “It’s a non-issue.”
Blackwater is one of two expansion franchises accepted by the PBA in 2014, with each one costing P120 million. In five seasons, the Elite made the playoffs thrice but never made it past the quarterfinal phase.
The sudden turn of events was in stark contrast to what Sy expressed when he appeared in the program Sports Page on Monday night.
“It’s a welcome news for everyone, PBA teams, PBA fans and us, team owners. We want to see the PBA get back in action as soon as possible to give fans and the people a sign of normalcy,” he said
But it was in the same guesting that the former PBL chairman got himself in hot water when he unwittingly mentioned visiting the team during its workout last Saturday.
The PBA hasn’t given the go-signal yet for teams to restart training even though it had gotten the nod of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) for ballclubs to start working out.
Sy doesn’t want to comment on the issue yet, saying he’s still awaiting the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) the IATF will give to the PBA.
A person close to the Blackwater team owner however, described Sy as ‘obviously hurting’ and ‘offended’ without further elaborating.
“No more reason to join the PBA whole heartedly,” said Sy, “Time to say goodbye to the PBA soon.”
Sy said he spent the whole of Wednesday thinking about his decision.
“I’ve seriously soul-searched and nothing, it just popped up. I’m thinking of selling my PBA franchise,” he stressed.
The Ever Bilena franchise however, will remain with basketball through the National University Lady Bulldogs and the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team, which it has been supporting for several years now.
He also plans to return to boxing which Sy plans to do by partnering with Senator and boxing great Manny Pacquiao and former two-time world champion Gerry Penalosa.
Sy once helped manage Pacquiao during the early part of his career.
“Boxing na lang tayo,” he said, mentioning about helping put up a possible mega-fight in Macau late this year between Pacquiao and Gennady Golovkin.