POC president Vargas understands SBP's unpopular decision

Paul Lintag on Jul 27, 2018 03:06 PM
POC president Vargas understands SBP's unpopular decision
"I'm sure it was complex and very difficult para sa kanila [SBP] to make that decision but we should take it for what it is," Vargas said.

Much has been said of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas' (SBP) sudden decision to withdraw from the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

The announcement came late Thursday night, just hours after a press conference concluded where the PBA Board, which also includes SBP President Al Panlilio, expressed its confidence about Rain or Shine's participation in the quadrennial event.

None of that matters now as the Philippines no longer has a basketball team in the Asian Games.

Friday via phone patch, POC President and PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas addressed the issue, saying while it was unpopular, he understands the SBP's decision to pull out from the Asiad.

"I'm sure it was complex and very difficult para sa kanila [SBP] to make that decision but we should take it for what it is," Vargas said.

"Even as a POC guy, I will support the decision of the NSA," he added.

Vargas mentioned that the Asian Games was not a priority initially, considering it was so close t oa FIBA window and it would directly coincide with the PBA schedule.

The compromise was that the Philippines will send the core of one PBA team, originally TNT before it was passed to Rain or Shine.

"The first reaction was kung mamimili, wag na lang tayo sumali sa Asian Games, yun yung first reaction," Vargas said.

"Because we have to prepare for the Home-and-Away and at the same time, if we took both, we will sacrifice a lot in terms of schedule pagdating sa PBA. We'll have no games i the next one and a half to two months. But then after that, baka pwede naman sa Asian Games by sending a team in the PBA that can represent the country. Ang prinsipyo is we send a core team," he added.

One thing that derailed those original plans was the Gilas-Boomers brawl that led to the suspension of 10 national team players plus head coach Chot Reyes.

While the suspension does not cover the Asian Games, it was a moral decision from the SBP not to send the KaTropa to Indonesia and thus Rain or Shine became the team to step up. Phoenix and San Miguel were also options.

Ultimately though, it was decided that members of the Beermen could be probably used better in the next FIBA window. The fact that San Miguel is in the Commissioner's Cup Finals also made the team's Asian Games stint unlikely.

The decision to witdraw though, mainly comes from the fact that the Philippines can't actually build a competitive team in time for the Asiad.

"Ang problema, walang [Andray] Blatche at Jordan Clarkson na iniisip namin na pwede rin sana isali. So two very important pieces of the puzzle," Vargas said.

"For reasons other than the composition of the team, as stated by SBP, they thought otherwise maybe it was best not to send. Yun lang ang naging dahilan doon," he added.




Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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