DESPITE the sentiment of feeling left out by the decision of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to pull out of the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, the PBA Board remains fully supportive of the country’s governing body for the sport.
League chairman Ricky Vargas was at the forefront of expressing support and cooperation to the SBP headed by president Al Panlilio, who is also a member of the PBA Board representing Meralco.
“We respect the decision of the SBP. We are a member of the SBP and we respect the decision that they made,” said Vargas, likewise the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). “Nandito lang ang PBA para tumulong.”
The chairman made the assurance less than 24 hours after the federation decided in haste to no longer send a basketball team to the August 18 to September 2 Asiad after initially acceding to the PBA’s move to allow Rain or Shine in representing the country to the quadrennial event.
Much to the surprise of the members of the majority of the board, the SBP didn’t notify them of its decision on the sensitive matter.
“I just found out through social media that we backed out,” disclosed board vice chairman Dickie Bachmann of Alaska. “I had no calls, I had no knowledge of why we backed out.”
“This could have been better handled,” quipped board member Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip. “It really came as a surprise to me personally and I guess to some members of the board.”
But the board is not letting emotions to get along the way as league officials reiterated their continued trust and support to the SBP.
Commissioner Willie Marcial likewise said the controversy hardly dent a crack on the solid relationship between the two basketball bodies.
“Sa palagay ko wala. May miscommunication lang, pero crack wala,” he said. “Solid na ulit ang PBA.”
“Hanggang ngayon, still the same ang support ng PBA, all-out iyan,” said San Miguel board member Robert Non.
Added Atty. Raymund Zorilla of Phoenix, “I like to reiterate that the PBA has been more than 100 percent supportive of the Gilas program.”