Mendoza: P-Noy wants PHL team to be a winner-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
IF, indeed, Valentin “VD” Dakuykoy got it right, I am raising my glass right now.
“Sir,” said VD to me, “President Aquino has written PBA Commissioner Chito Salud to express his wish to form a strong Philippine basketball team.”
“Is that right?”
“Yes, Sir,” VD said. “Commissioner Salud was totally flattered after receiving the letter.”
The letter was very “humble and diplomatic” in tone and was bereft of “presidential power and nudge.”
The President’s letter was an offshoot of the courtesy call on Malacanang made by the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas Team following the squad’s historic triumph in the recent Jones Cup in Taipei.
The key was the letter allegedly sent by Jones Cup champ coach Chot Reyes to President Aquino himself, “pleading” for help in the formation of the team tasked to put the country to the 2014 World Basketball Championship.
“Chot’s letter reached President Aquino through back-channel negotiations, with one guy hand-carrying it to the Chief Executive because they are relatives in the first place,” VD said to me.
In President Aquino’s letter to Commissioner Salud, he said, “It is my wish that our basketball team will have only the best players that the PBA can ever assemble.” Or words to that effect.
In other words, Mr. Aquino was so overjoyed by our victory in the Jones Cup that he now has thrown his all-out support behind the country’s campaign to clinch a spot in the 2014 World basketball proper.
The President’s positive response came after learning that our Jones Cup Team did not even have the best players from the PBA.
As everybody in the league knows, the fierce competition among team owners can sometimes spill out of bounds mainly because of trivial matters, if not outright jealousy.
Reportedly, San Miguel Corporation has not been too keen on “lending” its top players to the team because the PHL Team is known as Smart Gilas, a company owned by Manny V. Pangilinan. And MVP is a chief rival of SMC, both in business and basketball wars in the PBA.
With President Aquino entering the picture, differences might be finally patched up.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2012.