PBA: Uytengsu slams point that Aces will be “winning with integrity”
Paul Lintag on Jan 22, 2019 08:45 PM
“Don't get me wrong, I'm still looking for that 15th championship, and the 16th and the 17th and so on. But it will always be about winning with integrity,” — Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu.
Alaska remains as one the strongest “indie” teams in the PBA and Wilfred Uytengsu remains as the single strongest, most defiant “indie” team owner in the league.
Monday during the 25th PBA Press Corps awards night, Uytengsu delivered a strong message on the supposed problems that PBA has dealt with over the past couple of seasons.
In particular, the Alaska team owner has singled out the PBA’s parity, or supreme lack thereof.
“Over the years, we and the PBA have been challenged with circumstances and controversies and that could and should have been mitigated. Circumstances that led to an unleveled playing field. This started with the Fil-sham debacle, where players with Filipino-like surnames were playing in the PBA with fake birth certificates and passports. Unfortunately, the league was slow to respond to this,” Uytengsu said in his speech right after he received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement award from the Press Corps.
“In more recent years, we've seen dubious trades that created an even more unleveled playing field, creating further disparity in the league,” he added.
While he never went into specifics, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that one of the “dubious trades” referred to by Uytengsu was the San Miguel-Columbian swap for the no. 1 pick of the 2017 PBA Draft.
That no. 1 pick turned out to be Christian Standhardinger and the Beermen added another star to an already loaded lineup for pretty much nothing. The trade led to the PBA changing Commissioners and it caused a clear divide among the PBA Board.
Fortunately, the Board has since reunited and the PBA is now under the management of one of the more likeable Commissioner’s in recent years in Willie Marcial.
Still, that doesn’t stop Uytengsu on hitting out on supposedly unfair tactics and he insists that the Aces have always done it the right way and are very much proud of winning numerous titles with honor and integrity.
“I can tell you that we always respected the league and honored the game by not participating in these tactics. I believe we have a greater responsibility than just winning games, and that is to set an example and show the next generation how to do things the right way,” he said.
“As I look back now of more than 3 decades in the league, of course I'm proud of our 14 titles and more than 30 finals appearances, but I'm more proud of how we honored the game,” Uytengsu added.
The Alaska owner maitains his stance that his Aces will continue to chase more championships with the two things his team holds dear: honor and integrity.
“Don't get me wrong, I'm still looking for that 15th championship, and the 16th and the 17th and so on. But it will always be about winning with integrity,” Uytengsu said.
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