Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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Inside Sports

Talk ‘N Text disaster in Dubai

It is obvious that the PBA failed to conduct a background check and conduct due diligence on the ability of the promoter, Filipino Basketball Center head Ramon Pizarras, in the much-hyped games in Dubai which resulted in a disaster for the Talk ‘N Text team.

The Tropang Texters players and coaching staff were unable to board their flight back to Manila after the travel agency reportedly cancelled their tickets because of non-payment by the promoter.

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Lucky for the PBA, the two San Miguel Corp. teams, Barangay Ginebra and B-Meg, as well as the PBA officials were able to make it home while Talk N’ Text was left to fend for itself.

This is unthinkable. At least someone from the PBA Commissioner’s Office should have first made sure that all the teams were aboard before they stepped into the plane.

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Turns out the PBA officials were among the first to board the plane. This showed a complete lack of responsibility since the PBA arranged the games and dealt with the Dubai promoter.

It was even worse that Talk ‘N Text officials had to buy their own tickets using the cash they had and banking on personal credit cards. The players were booked on separate flights and, according to team manager Aboy Castro, they were still looking for flights for the coaches and utility staff who checked in for some rest at the Dusit Thani hotel Friday night.

It is imperative that the PBA reviews its plans for provincial and, more importantly, international games.

The distressing part is that the PBA was already advised that the promoter had mishandled the recent Ateneo-La Salle game in Dubai.

Besides, the PBA games were originally scheduled in May. When they were delayed because the promoter couldn’t pay the required PBA game fees, league officials should have sensed the risk and cancelled the games.

Truth to tell, the PBA was taken for a ride and commissioner Chito Salud will surely have to withdraw his commitment to play for the next five years in Dubai. But beyond that, someone must be held responsible for this fiasco.

The most disturbing aspect is that efforts to inform Willie Marcial, Salud’s chief assistant, of Talk ‘N Text’s plight were useless since he had already checked in and Tropang Texters officials could only contact him by phone.

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It should not be acceptable for the PBA to pass all the blame to the Filipino promoter because the league should have checked out his financial ability to stage such a project.

It would also be interesting to find out just how many PBA staff went to Dubai. If they were as many as 15, as we were informed, the right thing to do would have been to give up their seats for the players while the PBA officials stayed behind to work things out.

If this could be likened to a game situation, it surely must rank as a Flagrant Foul 2, ejection and suspension. Let’s face it. The PBA is in trouble in terms of dwindling attendance, a downswing in TV ratings and increasing public disinterest.

This latest disaster in Dubai is certain to hurt the league even more.  A pity since it could very well have been avoided.

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TAGS: 2011 PBA Governors Cup, Dubai, PBA, Ramon Pizarras, Sports, Talk N Text Tropang Texters
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