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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


Pangilinan at SCOOP sa Kamayan

By Eddie Alinea
16 Apr 2010

What Ateneo might lose, basketball and boxing stand to gain.
Businessman-sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan yesterday announced that he has re-confirmed his resignation as the Jesuit school’s chairman of the board in what may also lead of him to cease supporting its sports program.

Pangilinan, also popularly known as MVP, said during the SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session that he sent a fax message to Ateneo President Fr. Bienvenido Nebres containing his irrevocable resignation as an offshoot of a twin speeches in the school’s graduation exercises portions of which appeared to have been plagiarized.

“Yes, it was an irrevocable resignation,” he said during the forum, sponsored by ACCCEL. MVP had actually tendered his resignation days after the controversy regarding the speeches cropped up, but the board rejected it.
Asked what will happen to his support to Ateneo’s sports program, particularly to its basketball team, the chairman of the country’s leading telecommunications carrier Philippine Long distance Telephone Co. and mobile telephone firm Smart Communications, who admitted he was hurt no end by the accusations hurled at him, hinted he might also discontinue lending financial support.

“I will be meeting with team members and officials to get their sentiment, after that I will make my decision whether to continue helping or not,” Pangilinan, president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and chair of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines, said.

“I love Ateneo, but that’s life, I have to move on to where I will be most welcome. We have goals to achieve in both basketball and boxing and that is where I will be focusing my efforts,” MVP, who came to SCOOP session with ABAP president and PLDT senior vice president Ricky Vargas, said.
“Bugbog (ako). Masakit. Mahal ko ang Ateneo, pero ganyang talaga ang buhay,” he said in reference to what he felt.

Pangilinan assured his firm’s efforts in both goals are on track – that is guiding the national cage team, sponsored by Smart, to at least a fourth place finish in the coming Asian Games and the RP boxing team to at least a gold medal, also in the Asiad.

Both ambitious programs, he said, are geared towards regaining the country’s slot in the Olympics in 2012 as far as basketball is concerned, and end the Philippines’ long, 86-year gold medal draught in boxing.

He said that the Asian Games will be the key factor in SBP’s bid to make it to London Olympics in next year’s FIBA-Asia championship, which serves as the qualifying tournament for 2012 Games.

Vargas, for his part, spelled out the boxing program titled Road to the Asian Games, which is actually going on.
“Our main focus is in the Gilas team and our boxing team. Gilas will be sent starting next week to several training and competition stints in Las Vegas and in Vancouver,” he bared. “A five-game series has been scheduled in Las Vegas and in Vancouver, they might play from four to five games.”
The search for tall Fil-American players as well as one to be naturalized has been in continuing basis with Serbian coach Rajko Toroman as SBP’s main man.

Pangilinan disclosed that the case filed by the former governing body, Basketball Association of the Philippines with Fiba International’s Courts on Arbitration in Sports had also been decided in his group’s favor.

“This means we can now move on with our grassroots program without us being bothered by that case,” he said.
SBP’s thrust is not limited to making the national team competitive though. Pangilinan also disclosed that the Philippines, known as the basketball capital in the region, must play an active role in the running of the sport in the Southeast Asian and Asian fronts.

In the coming Southeast Asian Basketball Association congress and elections scheduled in Bali, Indonesia, he added, SBP will be fielding a candidate. In what position, Pangilinan refused to announce yet, pending, he added talks with other leaders of the sport in the region.

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