Taiwanese security risks in Fiba Asia? | Inquirer Sports
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Taiwanese security risks in Fiba Asia?

/ 01:51 AM May 30, 2013

Not even Moying Martelino, former Fiba Asia (then ABC) secretary general, could remember exactly when the Philippines started to compete in the William Jones Cup, an international, invitational basketball tournament organized by the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA) and held in Taipei annually.

According to Moying, as far as he can remember, the  prestigious tournament is several decades old and the Philippines has participated almost every year. Very rarely did we skip this tournament.

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“The participating teams in the Jones Cup are very strong, especially those coming from Europe and North America. They are mostly club teams; national teams are seldom sent by the participating countries,” Moying said.

Because the field is always so strong,  we have won only four times in this tournament. The first two came under Danding Cojuangco’s term as godfather and project director for basketball. Northern Consolidated won it in 1981 while San Miguel Beer won it again in 1985.

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The second title was clinched by Tim Cone’s Centennial Team while the Manny V. Pangilinan-sponsored Smart Gilas Pilipinas won the title last year.

“That’s why this year’s Jones Cup would have served as an ideal tuneup   for Gilas for the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship that will be held here in Manila Aug. 1 to 11,” Moying said

* * *

When a letter was sent by the CTBA  to the SBP asking for the Philippine entry to this year’s tournament, the SBP assumed that the advisory also served as an invitation.

But that was before the shooting incident at the Balintang Channel off Batanes Island where a Taiwanese fisherman was killed.

After the shooting incident, the SBP received a second letter from the CTBA  saying that the Philippines is not being  invited to the Jones Cup this year for security reasons.

The precaution is not unfounded, according to Moying.

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“Anything can happen while we’re playing there. All it will take is just one person to start a mayhem. What if an angry relative of the slain fisherman  comes to the venue and throws something dangerous on the court while we’re playing. Or what if our players are harmed.”

Actually, what is more scary to me is if the OFWS in the venue retaliate. And knowing the Filipino temperament, I’m sure they will—regardless of the consequences.

Yes, our participation in the Jones Cup will be a security risk. But what about the participation of Chinese Taipei in the Fiba Asia Championship, which is mandatory and which will be held on Philippine shores this August.

Will it also be a security risk?

* * *

It looked like Fruitas was well on the way to victory and to the semifinal round last Thursday, having practically led throughout the first three quarters of the match, until PBA commissioner  Chito Salud decided to leave the venue just a few minutes into the fourth quarter.

From there, the comfortable lead of Fruitas slowly disappeared, and while officiating had been fair and square in the first  three quarters, it got very spotty in the last period and in the overtime.

“It looked like the referees allowed Big Chill to catch up. There were several blatant non-calls in the crucial minutes,” reported an observer.

Fruitas eventually lost in overtime, 83-89. Strangely, there was no angry reaction from Fruitas coach Nash Racela, who said he didn’t want to make an issue out of the loss.

“They might say we’re just sour-graping. But I did approach the officials and they apologized for the noncalls especially in the last minute of the game. Sayang we had a very nice game plan which the players were able to execute, although they were given only a day to adjust,” Nash said.

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TAGS: Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), FIBA Asia, Moying Martelino, William Jones Cup
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