COUNT Manny V. Pangilinan among those hoping San Miguel Corp.-owned teams stay in the PBA.
Close to two weeks after SMC issued a cryptic statement that put in doubt their teams' continued participation in the pro league, Pangilinan said he hopes his companies' great rival would decide to stay put.
“I hope they’ll (SMC) stay," said the PLDT top honcho. "They’ve been around for a long time. They’ve been part of the league for a long time. Sayang naman if they’ll leave."
The businessman-sportsman told Spin.ph he is monitoring league developments, including the next steps the San Miguel organization will take in the wake of the controversy spawned by import Renaldo Balkman's attack on a teammate and his subsequent ban.
Two weeks since SMC announced that it was "re-evaluating" its continued participation in the league, even Pangilinan is still waiting for next word from his teams' great rivals.
“Hindi naman yata (sila aalis na)," Pangilinan said. "They’re playing … All of them are still playing.”
Asked if a pullout of SMC-owned teams Petron, San Mig, and Barangay Ginebra will leave a big vacuum in Asia’s first play-for-pay league, Pangilinan did not bat an eyelash: “Will it have a huge effect? I think so."
He continued: “San Miguel has three strong teams. They’ve been historically involved with the PBA. Sayang naman if they will go. I hope they stay.”