MANILA, Philippines — The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will prioritize grassroots development and an improved performance by the national team under communications magnate Manny V. Pangilinan, who was elected to another four-year term as head of the cage body.
“I think we have to do better than what we’ve done before and that’s our goal,” said Pangilinan, who helped rescue the nation’s favorite sport from the doldrums back in 2007.
He got the chance to lead the group to newer heights during the SBP national congress yesterday that elected familiar names to the top posts.
The elections were attended by 41 out of 63 voting members from the geographic, school, professional and commercial sectors with the voters electing by acclamation the 25-man board of trustees, which later on selected the top officers of the Fiba-recognized association.
The SBP maintained status quo with Misamis Oriental governor and SBP chair Oscar Moreno, Maynilad president Ricky Vargas (vice chair), Dr. Jay Adalem (treasurer) and lawyer Marievic Ramos-Anonuevo earning fresh four-year terms until the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Appointed officials Sonny Barrios (executive director) and Bernie Atienza (deputy executive director) also kept their posts. Philippine Olympic Committee chair Tom Carrasco and secretary general Steve Hontiveros came as POC observers of the proceedings.
“Now, I will encourage the board to do a fresh, new strategic planning exercise to lay out the programs for the next four years,” said Pangilinan, chair of PLDT/Smart and utility companies Meralco and Maynilad.
Aside from the continuity of programs in the grassroots and for the youth, Pangilinan also reiterated that the target is to qualify in the 2014 Fiba World Championship in Spain, where three Asian slots are available.
The Smart Gilas national team, which has a deep pool of professional and amateur players, will attempt to grab one of those continental spots in the Fiba Asia Championship next year in Beirut.
But scheduling conflicts may keep the pros out of the national team as the Gilas coaching staff fears that PBA players could be excluded from the world championship qualifier that starts first week of August 2013 due to a scheduling conflict.
“I think that majority of the national team should come from the PBA,” said Pangilinan, team owner of Talk ‘N Text and Meralco in the pro league.
Named members of the 25-man board of trustees were Pangilinan, Vargas, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud and PBA governor Robert Non from the pro league, and Fr. Vic Calvo (NCAA), Junel Baculi (UAAP), Daniel Danilo Soria, Marguerite Hornby and Edilberto Abalos from the school sector.
Geographical sector representatives Reynaldo Gamboa (PCCL), Adalem (Naascu), Atienza, Louie Juico, Virgilio Cortez, Fr. Paul De Vera, Saturnino Belen, Raul Alcoseba, Fr. Joseph Haw, Regino Boy Cua and Moreno were also picked as members of the board.
Representing the commercial sector were Ramon Segismundo (PBA D-League), Robert Uy and Pedro Alfaro Jr. while Nic Jorge Jr. (Small Basketeers of the Philippines) and Ma. Vivian P. Manila (WNCAA) were selected as representatives of the special youth and special women sectors.