JUST the day before, the National University Lady Bulldogs were described as strong enough to form the core of the national women's basketball team bound for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.
Now NU management has accepted the challenge.
NU Lady Bulldogs patron and Ever Bilena Cosmetics president Dioceldo Sy said on Friday he has set a meeting with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) vice chairman Ricky Vargas, who is currently in Korea, to volunteer the team's help for the SEA Games-bound team.
“I will meet up with Ricky Vargas next week to discuss the possibility of NU beefing up if not forming the foundation of the 2015 SEA Games team, the Perlas Pilipinas,” said Sy shortly after reading a Spin.ph story wherein La Salle coach Tyronne Bautista endorsed the Lady Bulldogs to the national team.
“I will also set up a meeting with (NU big boss) Mr. Herbert Sy regarding this call of duty. I know boss Herbert will be generous enough to lend the NU core to the still-to-be-formed women’s team,” added the Blackwater Elite team owner.
Sy had previously been involved in the women’s basketball program for three years, but stressed that he wants to help without stepping on the toes on the current management team led by the Discovery group.
“That’s one thing we do not want to happen. Ayaw namin na may parties na ma-bypass. Kaya nga we are setting up a meeting with the SBP so they’ll be the ones to facilitate everything. Kami naman handa lang tumulong,” he said.
Sy believes that the cooperation of all stakeholders is critical if the country wants to finally achieve success in women's basketball in the SEA Games.
“We have never won a gold medal in the SEA Games. It’s one thing that our men’s team have been dominating since 1977. Kung malakas tayo sa lalaki, bakit di natin magawa sa babae?” said Sy.
In the 37-year history of the SEA Games, the Philippines has finished no higher than runner-up to longtime powerhouse Malaysia (from 1977 to 2007) and just recently to Thailand.
“We will need everyone’s support in this endeavor. Kaya nga we’re already expressing our intent and full support,” said Sy.
“As we lend the core of our NU team, we fervently hope that other NCAA, UAAP and other leagues will also throw in their support. We can work together from SBP, MVP group, SM food group and Ever Bilena-Blackwater group for our Perlas Pilipinas national squad,” Sy said.
So dominating was NU in the last UAAP season that the Lady Bulldogs swept all of their 16 games en route to winning the school's first-ever women’s basketball crown.
The Patrick Aquino-mentored squad boasts of the biggest names in women’s basketball led UAAP MVPs Efril Bernardino and Gemma Miranda, Shelly Gupilan, Andrea Tongco, Trixie Antiquera, Kristine Abriam and reigning Rookie of the Year Ria Napalan.
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios bared that plans for the women’s team mightbe discussed when a newly formed committee convenes on Tuesday to discuss plans for the SEA Games.
The selection and screening committee is comprised of NCAA representative Paul Supan, UAAP official Junel Baculi, Cesafi’s Yayoy Alcoseba, Naascu’s Dr. Jay Adalem and Barrios.