SBP Pays No Heed to BAP Elections

On: 06 June 2008


By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star, 06 June 2008

The BAP-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, under the leadership of business mogul Manny V. Pangilinan, stressed there’s only one national cage body recognized by the International Basketball Federation and the Philippine Olympic Committee, and this is not the group that held a convention and election Wednesday at Century Park Hotel.

The old leadership of the Basketball Association of the Philippines convened Wednesday and nominated their own 25-man board of trustees which they claimed represent stakeholders adhering to the “Bangkok agreement.”

Former Rep. Prospero Pichay was elected president while Rep. Luis Villafuerte was voted chairman.

“I don’t want to comment on the election but only on their so-called BAP-SBP convention. There’s only one BAP-SBP recognized by the FIBA and the POC. As stated by FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann in a message, they recognize the SBP headed by Mr. Pangilinan,” said former PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, a trustee in the BAP-SBP under Pangilinan.

Present during the BAP elections were Philippine Sports Commission chair William Ramirez, Wilson Young of Tanduay, BAP-SBP treasurer Christian Tan, BAP-SBP legal counsel Bonifacio Alentajan and former BAP president and athletics chief Go Teng Kok.

“I don’t know what’s their intention using the same name and claiming to be the representatives of the national association when in fact they have no claim to that. They’re not recognized by the FIBA,” Vargas added.

Pangilinan’s group, including leaders of the major leagues in the country, will hold its election of officers on Thursday at Dusit Hotel in Makati.

“I can’t understand (why they need to break away). They’re part of the accreditation process and no one is disenfranchised in the federation. They’re all invited to come and join the process,” Vargas said.

Apparently, the old BAP leadership formed its group again with only a handful of them making it as regular members under the accreditation process held by the BAP-SBP nomination and membership committee chaired by Ely Capacio. Most of them were relegated as associate members without voting power.

“They agreed to the process, and there should really be a process. Even in a barangay election, there are requirements. Voters have to be screened so there will be no flying voters,” said Vargas.

Curiously, Lito Alvarez, a PBA board member, and Red Bull’s Andy Jao were among those nominated to the 25-man BAP board.

PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios, however, said the league board passed a resolution naming him, Pangilinan, Vargas and board chairman Tony Chua as the league representatives to the SBP board which will hold an election Thursday.

“As representative of the PBA, we’re officially part of the SBP under Mr. Pangilinan,” said Barrios.

Jao said he was surprised he was nominated as trustee in the Century Park meeting since he was there as mere observer.

“Our company was invited and I was asked to represent the company. I didn’t even log in and I was nominated when I’d left,” he said.

Vargas was hardly bothered by the Century Park convention and election.

“Even if 12 groups hold their election, what’s important is the FIBA and the POC recognize only one group,” Vargas said.

Ramirez, however, clarified that he’s not there to throw his support to the BAP.

“I am public servant and I was invited by Rep. Luis Villafuerte to show that I am not leaning toward anyone,” Ramirez said.

“I just wanted to listen. Now don’t ask me if I’ll be on the other group’s (SBP) election on June 12 because I just received an invitation and my decision is ‘I’m going.’ But if they will seek financial assistance we have to make sure that they are recognized by the POC.”

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