Lito Puyat eyes ‘UAAP-NCAA’ merger
MANILA—Gonzalo “Lito” Puyat, two-time president of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba), wants a merger between the UAAP and NCAA to strengthen the talent base of Philippine basketball.
In an exclusive interview, Puyat, now 78, said he is more than willing to help open the door for the merger of the country’s two biggest and popular collegiate leagues.
“I knock on the patriotic fervor of the gentlemen and women behind the success of the UAAP and NCAA to explore a merger [which] will result in a stronger and solid Philippine basketball,” said Puyat.
Puyat said schools play crucial roles in discovering fresh basketball talents.
“Schools are the breeding grounds not only of future basketball stars but sporting heroes in general,” said Puyat, who headed Fiba from 1976 to 1980.
Puyat also lauded Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chair Manny V. Pangilinan for the Smart Gilas program, adding also that it’s time to believe that China “can be toppled” from its Asian throne.