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Pangilinan Wants to Buy NBA's Sacramento Kings


PhilBoxing.com



Manny V. Pangilinan.
What MVP is to business, is to sports. If Manny V. Pagnilinan is, actually, the Most Valuable Player in his other endeavors, sports is no exception.

Besides heading several sports associations, MVP has revived his wish of becoming the first Filipino to own an NBA franchise.The owner of the Talk ‘N Text ballclub in the PBA that has so far won five conference titles, MVP is also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and chair of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines tasked with gifting the country its first Olympic gold medal.

As SBP top honcho, MVP’s obsession is for the country to win back the respect it once enjoyed in the Asian and world basketball scenes like seeing the Filipinos lording it over their Asian neighbors and play in the Olympic Games anew.

Such respect the Philippines sort of gained when MVP succeeded in bringing to this shore an NBA Selection made up of certified superstars that played a series of goodwill matches that filled the Smart Areneta Coliseum to the rafters. The All-Star was composed of bona fide superstars like Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, last year’s MVP Derrick Rose, World Basketball Championship best player Kevin Durant and Chris Paul of the L.A. clippers, among others, was the first ever seen here even the Asian NBA failed to bring.

That having been done, MVP has a bigger plan – own an NBA franchise -- a dream hatched last year but aborted and now looks to becoming a reality.

He and the Tropang Texters coach and MVP Sports Foundation executive director Chot Reyes, in fact, are scheduled to meet with NBA commissioner David Stern to discuss the possibility of buying the Sacramento Kings franchise.

Reyes, who is presently in California with wife and two kids, told this writer he is only waiting for Pangilinan’s arrival so the meeting with Stern could push through.

“Wala pa si MVP dito. Hindi pa masigurado kelan dating nya kaya di ma-set yung meeting,” Reyes said in a text message by way of confirming the meeting with the NBA big boss.

Buying the Sacramento franchise is actually one of the projects in the MVPSF drawing board following the successful staging of the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend. Plan is to bring here also the top NBA rookies and sophomores to play a series of exhibition goodwill games.

“Matagal na in the works mga NBA projects namin, kaya lang medyo Malabo yata ang rookies-sophomores thing, kasi wala nang lockout,” Reyes disclosed. Reyes is set to leave the Texters and concentrate instead in forming the national squad for next year’s FIBA-Asia world championship qualifying tourney, said.

Nearly a year ago, Pangilinan and former NBA superstar Chris Webber worked to form a group of businessmen to bid for the purchase of the Sacramento franchise. The Maloofs maintained though that team is not for sale despite rumors of financial troubles.

MVP’s renewed interest in acquiring the franchise came after an agreement between the Maloof brothers, the Kings’ owners, and the city government, headed by Mayor Kevin Johnson, another former NBS star, to save the franchise fell apart.

The tentative deal would provide for the construction of a new arena for the team arrived March last year to keep the Kings above water only to be aborted when the Maloofs backed out a month after. Stern himself expressed disappointment in the deal’s falling apart.

The Sacramento business community have asked the NBA to ‘strongly’ urge the Maloof family to sell the team, accusing the owners of negotiating in bad faith. They cited a provision in the NBA charter forcing club owners to sell if it is in the ‘best interest of the league’ which potentially opens the door for a buyer.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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