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Blackwater owner in more troubled waters as PBA board takes offense

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:50 PM July 16, 2020

Blackwater Elite. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy has found himself in hotter water than he’s already in when he sanctioned his team to practice even before the appointed date that the PBA was given to resume team practices.

His statements made Wednesday night to the Inquirer about selling his PBA franchise out of spite, and all the other things he said when it was apparent that sanctions were going his way, are “serious matters that he has to deal with the board.”

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League chair Ricky Vargas said in an interview on Thursday that Sy’s comments have serious repercussions. And though him allowing his team to practice last week was an “operational matter that the Office of the Commissioner will deal with,” threatening to sell his franchise will not be taken lightly by the board.

Sy said that he felt “offended, bullied and pushed to the wall” when contacted by the Inquirer on Wednesday as sanctions from both the PBA and the Games and Amusements Board loom because of health and safety protocol violations committed by his team when it gathered and practiced last week.

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“One, him saying that he will sell his franchise is a serious matter,” Vargas said over the phone. “You just don’t come out and say that, because the board needs to know it, and approve of it first.

Sy also put a price tag on his franchise and Vargas said that it can’t be that simple because “we need to approve first who the buyer will be. It’s like a golf club membership, you cannot just come in and expect the members to approve of you.”

Sy said that his supposed violation of the IATF protocol was a “non-issue to me.”

But what really got the attention of Vargas and the entire PBA board was when Sy said in the Inquirer report that “if no one buys it, then we will continue to participate.”

“That is really as serious as it gets,” Vargas said. “Because we in the PBA are committed (to participating and coming up with a good team), and by saying that, I ask him: Where is his level of commitment.”

“That to me is very serious,” Vargas went on as he resented the fact that Sy said that out of spite.

“Everyone is accountable in the league. Japeth (Aguilar of Barangay Ginebra) was fined (P20,000 for playing in a scrimmage in quarantine) that’s why the commissioner dealt with him.”

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Vargas pointed out to the IATF approval that the league painstakingly sought to be able to have a semblance of resumption. He said that it should not, in any way, be violated.

“He (Sy) will answer to the board for his comments (that came out in the Inquirer), because clearly, we are now questioning his level of commitment in playing in the PBA,” Vargas said.

Clearly, for Vargas, this matter is a big issue.

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TAGS: Blackwater Elite, Dioceldo Sy, franchise, PBA, Ricky Vargas, Sports, TEAM
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