Mendoza: PBA decision augurs well for PH basketball-A A +A
Friday, January 25, 2013
IF plans run true to form, the 10 teams in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will release at least one player each for use in the country’s campaign to win one of three berths in the Fiba Asia World Championship.
That is the wish of no less than the PBA Commissioner himself, Chito Salud.
“That way, there would be ample representation for each team in the national squad playing in the Fiba Asia event,” Salud said.
The plan, already approved by the PBA Board, seeks to bolster the Philippine bid to finish among the Top 3 in the Fiba Asia tournament for an automatic slot to the Fiba World Basketball Championship.
Our capricious campaign took a solid shot in the arm when the Fiba Asia was rerouted to Manila from war-wracked Lebanon as it will surely give us the psychological edge of hometown momentum.
I believe the aim to finish in the Top 3 in the Fiba Asia is not a gargantuan, uphill job, or even wishful thinking if you wish, considering that we just recently won the tough Jones Cup in Taiwan with a team not exactly composed of the country’s top guns in the sport.
Conspicuously absent from that team were powerhouse players like Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo of Petron Blaze, and James Yap and Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee, among other world-caliber players in the PBA.
The Fiba Asia used to be the ABC tournament that we had won last in 1986. Before that, we also prevailed in 1973 in Manila, with the late Valentin “Tito” Eduque as coach. His players then included Robert Jaworski, Atoy Co, Jimmy Mariano, Abet Guidaben, Joy Cleofas, Marte Samson, Philip Cezar, Manny Paner, Dave Regullano, Bogs Adornado, and Larry Mumar and Tembong Melencio, both deceased.
If we succeed in the Fiba Asia set Auga 1-11 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, we proceed to the Fiba world championship in Spain next year. God willing—and with Pato Gregorio’s kindly imprimatur, of course—I might yet cover the event. The last time I was in the Land of Castanets was when I covered the World Club Basketball Championship in 1985 in Girona, Spain.
Time flies, indeed.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 26, 2013.