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MVP joins powerful cage body

/ 03:29 AM September 17, 2014

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) vice chair Ricky Vargas was ecstatic.

He had just gotten word that SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan had been elected to the Fiba central board Saturday evening Manila time, after a three-hour meeting in Madrid, Spain, and he was eager to relay this development to close friends in the basketball community.

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“MVP was nominated to the highly coveted post by Fiba secretary general Patrick Baumann and, as such, he also automatically gets elected to the board of  Fiba Asia,” Vargas told the Inquirer.

“I just got the text message from MVP himself. He said the Fiba meeting adjourned after more than three hours.”

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Filipinos also elected to different Fiba posts were lawyer Aga Francisco (legal commission) and Dr. George Canlas (medical commission). This must be Canlas’ third or fourth term in the commission.

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According to Mauricio “Moying” Martelino, who also became a member of the Fiba central board back in the 1970s, the central board holds an election every Olympic year.

Only three Filipinos have been elected to the Fiba board: Martelino, Pangilinan and the late Gonzalo “Lito” Puyat, the only Filipino to hold the post of Fiba president. Puyat went on to complete two terms.

“It is a very, very prestigious position,” said Martelino, who also held the position of Fiba Asia (then ABC) secretary general.

“Now the Philippines has a say in the policy-making body of world basketball.”

Thus, staging the next Fiba World Cup here in our country should no longer be an unreachable dream.

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In fact, the chance to host the World Cup could have been the motivation that prompted Pangilinan to accept the invitation to attend the Fiba central board meeting.

At this point, no one can question the man’s deep passion for the game of basketball.

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“MVP said the Fiba meeting that transpired had been ‘excellent’ and had a full agenda. He describes the central board  as the ‘United Nations of basketball,’” Vargas said.

We forgot to ask Vargas if he will be at the “pasasalamat” and sendoff for the Gilas Pilipinas team at Araneta Coliseum today at 5 p.m.

“It’s going to be a street party and the entire Gilas Pilipinas team and the coaching staff will be there to thank their supporters,” read the invite from TV5’s Paul Mata. “Go to that area by the red gate. The event is open to the public.”

I told Paul perhaps the “pasasalamat” should also include MVP’s triumph at the Fiba central board meeting.

The national team leaves for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, this Saturday.

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TAGS: Basketball, Manny V. Pangilinan, Ricky Vargas, Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas (SBP)
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