Certain to push through, Filbasket clears air: 'No hidden agenda'

Oct 25, 2021
Jai Reyes Filbasket
PHOTO: (Reyes) Jerome Ascano

FILBASKET has not yet even blown the whistle on its first game, but it has already faced numerous challenges as it approaches its launch this week.

A misunderstanding with the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) regarding its plans to conduct a bubble tournament this month made the headlines last week. And with hopes of clearing the air, founders Jai Reyes and Buddy Encardo spoke to the local media to set the record straight.

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    GAB approval is a non-issue for the amateur league

    "For this first tournament, we are amateur in nature, and not under the jurisdiction from the GAB," Reyes said. "Approval is a non-issue."

    Encarnado added: "We are only as good as the weakest member of our team."

    And while a lot of their participating players are ex-pros, there are also numerous collegiate players and even small-time team players.

    "At the start of the pandemic, we saw our players selling products like hotdogs. It pains me to see that these talents resort to doing that," the sports executive added. "Players just want to go back to playing, and that is our goal in this league."

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    Reyes and Encarnado have been brewing the idea since early this year and has been putting in the legwork since June.

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    "We've been talking to organizations since June, from the LGUs and necessary stakeholders," Reyes said. "We just want to restart the sport we all love. So just to begin with the tournament is already a big win for us."

    Filbasket will have a bubble setup when it kicks off in Subic Gymnasium, in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, from October 28 (Thursday) to November 22, at most.

    Three games per day will be played and strict health protocols inside the bubble will be observed.

    "Once a week antigen testing, then if necessary, may confirmatory RT-PCR. We will also be taking videos and pictures of how we clean the venue and submit it to the LGU," Reyes aid.

    It can also be streamed online for free through Tiktok, as well as Facebook and Youtube live.

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    Filbasket will follow a single-round robin format, quarterfinals, knockout semifinals, and a best-of-three finals, 55 games played in total.

    It is also participated by 11 teams namely: 7A Primus, AICC Manila, Brulington EOG Sports, Davao Occidental Tigers -Cocolife, FSD Makati Army, Medical Depot, Mtrans Buracai De Laiya – BCTA, Muntinlupa Defenders, Nueva Ecija Besprens, Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, and San Juan Knights – Go for Gold.

    Big names like Jeric Teng, Mark Yee, Diego Dario, Justin Arana, Fran Yu, Rhenz Abando, Thomas Torres, Chris Bitoon, and Michael Mabulac among others are suiting up for the amateur league.

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    PHOTO: (Reyes) Jerome Ascano
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