New backer set to support Alab Pilipinas long-term

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 08, 2018 08:03 PM
New backer set to support Alab Pilipinas long-term
The partnership between Alab Pilipinas and San Miguel is seen to be long-term

Alab Pilipinas is 8-1 with Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman as reinforcements.

That’s outstanding, but there’s an even better mark for the Filipinos’ representatives in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League – they are undefeated in two games ever since San Miguel stepped in as primary sponsor.

Not only that, those two wins have come at the expense of league heavyweights Chong Son of China and the Slingers of Singapore.

Team owner Charlie Dy knew only good things were coming from the start of their conversations with their brand new backer. “Noong pumunta ako sa SMB office, bumukas yung elevator tapos nandun agad yung slogan nila na ‘Serbisyo. Malasakit. Buhay SMB,’” he shared.

He then continued, “Dun pa lang, alam ko nang may magandang mangyayari.”

Dy and the Alab team management were left searching for a new primary sponsor after Tanduay, their initial backer, withdrew its commitment following reported differences with head coach Jimmy Alapag.

Fortunately for them San Miguel, which already has a history with the ABL, was only more than willing to step in. “We’re just very happy and thankful sa San Miguel dahil when they heard (the news), nung lumapit kami sa kanila, they really welcomed us. Ayaw nilang ma-disappoint namin yung mga Pilipinong sumusuporta sa team,” Dy said.

The even better news is that, apparently, the partnership is not only for the ongoing season. As the Philippine team’s owner put it, “They want a long partnership. They will continue supporting the team not just for this season, but (also) for the coming seasons.”

He then continued, “At least ito, long-term na they’re supporting the team. We’re just very grateful talaga to boss Al (Chua) and RSA (Ramon S. Ang).”

Indeed, looks like the “GI-NE-BRA! GI-NE-BRA!” chants were a premonition for Alab.

Leading scorer Justin Brownlee is also the resident import of Ginebra, which falls under the umbrella of the San Miguel Corporation. He has been showered with cheers of “GI-NE-BRA! GI-NE-BRA!” wherever he plays, even in Singapore.

Now, those chants will not only be for the American reinforcement, but indeed, for the entire Philippine team as well. “Siguro nga, nakatulong din yun. I believe kasi na ganun sila (San Miguel) e – hindi nila hahayaan yung players nila,” he said.

He then continued, “Nakita nila na Justin came back to support Alab and now, they’re doing the same.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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