HAPEE Toothpaste fell short in its bid to win back-to-back championships in the PBA D-League but Lamoiyan Corporation CEO and president Dr. Cecilio Pedro won’t be discouraged from joining the PBA ranks next season.
That dream, Pedro stressed, stays on.
“The letter of intent is already done and we are going to submit it to the PBA office as soon as possible,” said Pedro. “We really want to join the PBA long time ago but the problem is will the PBA allow us to bring several of our star players?
If they can get a concession – bringing in at least three of their star players – then Pedro sees no problem with their entry since three current members of the league – Rain or Shine, Blackwater and Globalport – are their contemporaries in the now defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL).
Bernard Yang, Pedro’s longtime lieutenant, said if allowed to bring in their star players they intend to elevate two-time UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks, Garvo Lanete and Troy Rosario.
“Will be happy if we can bring the three players...but again that will depend sa PBA,” said Yang.
According to Yang, Pedro was inspired by their gallant showing in the deciding Game Three of their Foundation Cup title series with Café France that he wants to fast-track their entry into the PBA.
Although they lost, 56-55, to Cafe France, Pedro gave his team a surprise bonus in recognition of their inspiring performance despite playing minus five key players, including three San Beda players, due to various reasons.
Hapee decided only to play with eight players to protect San Beda players – Ola Adeogun, Baser amer and Art dela Cruz – from aggravating their injuries that may affect their performance in the NCAA where the Red Lions are looking to extend their reign.
“With just three days left before the opening of the NCAA, we don’t want to aggravate the injuries of Ola and Baser,” said Yang. “Though we lost, the boys fought courageously, that’s why Dr. Pedro and his family were very happy.”
“We’ll be happy if San Beda wins again because some of their players gain more exposure while playing with us,” added Yang.