A Letter of Buddy: No Conspiracy

On: 02 March 2008

Manila Bulletin, 02 March 2008

We reply to you in reply to the column "Sports Fan" of your Mr. Ding Marcelo, entitiled "Meeting smells of conspiracy".

We have wanted for everyone, including us, to focus in the championship series itself, but recent event have constrained us to make this reply.

While we respect Mr. Marcelo's expression of his opinion, we likewise have to express our disagreement with his view that Sta Lucia " did not have the good sense to postpone the meeting with Barrios." We further take the exception to his statement that the meeting " smacks of impropriety, a lack of foresight........"

For the record, Mr Exequiel Robles requested for a meeting with the Commissioner's Office after game 3 of the championship series if only to seek clarification on the apparent sudden change in the philosophy of the referee's calls from game 1 and 2, which sudden change he felt, shortchanged his team. As a basketball player himself, he simply sought an explanation from the Commissioner what acts of the players are to be called as fouls and which are not. Nothing more was discussed. It was a simple meeting between them. Please note that the meeting was held in EDSA Shangrila, in a public restaurant and with other people present in the meeting. Certainely, if there was an intention " to conspire," Sta Lucia could have easily merely called the Commissioner, and if a meeting was necessary, hold a meeting in a private function room or in any place where they could have kept the public from seeing them.

As regards the timing of the meeting, it was held the day after Game 3 manifesting that the request was but a spontaneous reaction to Game 3. Moreover, if the meeting was postponed after the series, we are sure that certain quarters would brand us as either sour graping or gloating.

Furthermore, the timing of the meeting only became an issue because certain quaters put malice in it when there was none. To be sure, these same malicious minds, might now put in issue the decision of San Miguel Group to pull - out its TV ads and Purefoods' decision to decline sponsorship of the PBA All Star before Game 7 as a means to pressure the Commissioner and the PBA, which is totally unfair to the San Miguel Group.

We hope to finally put to rest all the speculations on the timing of the meeting and the alleged impropriety committed by Sta. Lucia and let's all focus on Game 7.

In the interest of fair play, we hope that this letter be published immediately and recieve the space it deserves in your esteemed newspaper.

Thank you very much, and best regards.

Manuel "Buddy" M. Encarnado
Governor/Team Manager

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