MVP wavers, may yet run for POC presidentBy Percy D. Della
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SACRAMENTO—Business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan appears to have a change of mind—an epiphany, if you ask me—and may yet run for president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Seeking to rescue Philippine sports from the abyss, Pangilinan is reportedly making sure all his ducks are in a row before finally throwing his hat into the ring.
Someone in the know told me by
e-mail that the country’s Most Valuable Patron of sports seems to have made an about-face from his previous stand that the POC presidency is a “full time job.”
After his very public split with his alma mater, Ateneo de Manila University over mining issues, Pangilinan had indicated that he does not have the luxury of time to run both the POC and his business empire.
But my source said that insiders in MVP’s camp now believe that, “the boss could be a mere nudge away” from relenting to the clamor for him to wrest control from Presidential uncle Jose Cojuangco Jr. at the POC polls on Nov. 30.
Despite his horrendous record for the last eight years, Cojuangco appears to be cruising to a third term as POC president—until now.
My source says Pangilinan, president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, chair of two national sports associations and a supporter of at least six more NSAs, wants to be assured of either of two scenarios:
He runs unopposed or musters overwhelming support that will make Uncle Peping see the futility of his effort to cling on to power.
In other words, the MVP “may actually give in if the clamor reaches a crescendo”—meaning a minimum of 25 out of the 49 national sports association heads—will come out in the open and endorse him by Oct. 15.
The bandwagon needs to roll now to convince MVP to take the plunge and forestall candidates that stand no chance against Cojuangco, my source said.
And by the way, there will be no room for deals, should Pangilinan file his candidacy.
The same source said the MVP “will not accept endorsements in exchange for positions or any other spoils of war.”
I had a chat yesterday with Sean Chambers, who comes out smelling like a rose each time his name is mentioned as a former Philippine Basketball Association import.
We talked about his glorious days in the PBA and his current job as a high school girls’ varsity basketball coach.
Sean made a seismic impact on Asia’s inaugural play-for-pay basketball league as the Alaska team’s top gun when he helped the franchise in 1991 to its first ever league title and played a major role in the team’s historic Grand Slam of the 1996 season.
He told me that sometimes he wonders about the what-ifs and might-have-beens had he taken the path of equally celebrated imports Norman Black and Bobby Parks—who decided to stay and are now marquee mentors in a land where basketball is king.
As the great Beatle John Lennon once said, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
Sean returned home to Sacramento and the suburban Antelope High School here is the better for his commitment to teach young minds about the relevance of sports.
He gets to enjoy the best of both worlds—as a high school coach and professional team executive when he goes back to Manila during the Thanksgiving break to serve as a consultant for Alaska in the PBA’s 38th season.
More from this Column:
- Sportsmen in politics
- NSAs catch election fever
- ‘My bottom dollar for a horse’
- PH a world golf stop amid leadership turmoil
- Go, Popoy Juico and the Patafa presidency