WHILE Blackwater Sports and Kia Motors wait for the green light from the PBA board, another popular ballclub from the amateur ranks is waiting in the wings.
Lamoiyan Corporation president Dr. Cecilio Pedro said he has long sent feelers to Asia's first play-for-pay cage league and is "waiting for the right time" to revive his bid for a PBA expansion franchise.
Pedro's teams have had a long and proud history in the amateur leagues.
Pedro once stood as top backer of the men’s national team and his amateur ballclubs served as the amateur home of PBA stars Peter June Simon, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, Jervy Cruz, James Sena, and Josh Vanlandingham.
Among its former coaches were Gee Abanilla, Louie Alas, and Junel Baculi.
A known pro-Filipino businessman, Pedro bared giving livelihood to Filipinos through Lamoiyan products such as Hapee, Dazz, Fash Liquid Detergent, and Licealiz are what they have been doing for many years now.
And that’s the primary reason too, why the company is looking to join the 39-year-old league apart from the exposure it can give to the products.
“Madami na kasing mga players ang nawawalan ng pwesto. Nakakaawa. So we believe joining the PBA could help at least 14 families earn a living. If we join, we give more priorities to local players to participate,” said Pedro.
“Gusto kasi naming i-uplift ang kabuhayan ng ating mga kababayan,” said the Hapee Toothpaste team owner.
At the moment, Pedro bared there are no plans to renew the company’s PBA application, but added the "time will come."
“Not immediately, but when the time comes, we will announce it (PBA application). But the interest is always there,” said Pedro, whose teams have won championships the PBL over the past two decades.
Dioceldo Sy of Blackwater Sports and Shark Energy, once a rival of Pedro in the PBL, expressed elation upon hearing about the plan of Lamoiyan Corp.
“Sana ituloy ni Doctor Pedro. I think, it’s about time, he joins the PBA. He is a credible team owner who knows how to win. The PBA will be a good league for him. I’d be happy to play against him again,” said Sy, who now awaits the decision of the league board on his application for a franchise.
If and when Pedro decides to revive his dormant application, the league just might its number of teams rising to a league-high 14 next season assuming NLEX also pursues its bid to apply.
Another possible applicant is Phoenix Petroleum.