THE big boss has spoken.
Upon his arrival after surveying the recent wreckage of our crushing crash in China, Manny V. Pangilinan—aka MVP—batted for an early formation of a team that will, hopefully, redeem our battered pride in the just-ended Fiba World Basketball Cup.
“We should form a team as early as now,” said MVP in a press conference on Tuesday upon landing at the Naia Terminal 3 from Beijing.
He can easily accomplish that unhampered, MVP being the chairman emeritus of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the body in charge of the country’s commitment to join international basketball tournaments.
I can sense from MVP’s seeming certainty of a positive result arising from his solid discourse of a recalibrated crew for the next Fiba World Cup in 2023 that the Philippines will co-host with Indonesia and Japan.
With his power and influence, MVP, who has been practically financing basketball Philippines with his billions for the longest time, might just make things happen with his resolve to prepare our team early for the next Worlds.
The early bird takes the first worm?
“Just because we are seeded as host, it doesn’t mean we should not prepare,” MVP said. “There’s a tendency kasi na kapag kasali na, we’ll take it easy. We should take it seriously.”
As co-host of the next Worlds in 2023, we are exempt from the qualifying tournament.
But MVP also sees that as a possible stumbling block, citing the fact we will be playing on home court.
“It’s more pressure on us because we’re playing before our countrymen,” he said.
Then, by way of recognizing the agony that our countrymen had gone through following our humiliating thud of a no-win, five-loss fall in China, MVP said: “It’s our duty to apologize. Let’s do better next time.”
At least, yes, as co-host, we are assured of a next time.
Seeded that we are in 2023, we can only hope of a better result in the next Worlds.
Like, avoiding that last-place finish in China?
How modest can we get.