LONDON -- RP's biggest electricity distributor Meralco has entered Asia's first professional basketball league, the PBA, and has vowed to win its first title in three years.
Quite a big ambition and probably a dream, which is attainable provided they will be lucky to get good players who can win championships for the team.
Unlike the previous team Sta. Lucia, where it bought the PBA franchise, Meralco has ambition and according to its newly appointed coach Ryan Gregorio, he hopes he could sign good players to surround his three stalwarts Chris Ross, Gilbert Omolon and Marlou Aquino.
Gregorio thinks that Aquino, Omolon and Ross are the only players they might sign to inherit from Sta. Lucia. And they have to wait to pick some good players from the draft and select some in the free agency market.
Sta. Lucia Realty was bleeding millions of pesos annually while they were maintaining a team in the PBA that is why their chairman Exequille Robles decided he had enough and sold his franchise to Meralco.
Manny Pangilinan, the basketball crazy executive of many more big companies like PLDT, Smart, and TV5, now has a majority share with Meralco. He then decided to buy Sta. Lucia from Robles and increase his teams in the PBA.
He already owns the Talk and Text team. He is also the minority share holder in the Lina controlled Burger King. He also owns the Smart Gilas RP national team aside from controlling the SBP (the sports association which controls basketball in RP).
In contrast to Sta. Lucia, Meralco does not mind if it loses millions of pesos annually to maintain a PBA team. It has enough dough to last a million years unless everyone in Manila stops using electricity.
Coach Gregorio has not finalized his lineup yet but basing on his three core players the team is expected to have a tough season ahead. Aquino is an ageing giant who is too slow against the current crop of Fil-American players.
He is almost 40 years old and needs to drink from the fountain of youth millions of gallons water to get back to his former explosive form.
Chris Ross and Gilbert Omolon are neither marquee nor star players and would end up in the bench if they sign for other teams.
But what about the fans? Will they cheer for Meralco after suffering from high electric bills all their lives? I doubt they will. But at least now they will have a team to hate unless Meralco decides to give the Manila households free electricity for the next six months.
Every time there is power shortage and electric bills hike, Manila households will now have Araneta Coliseum to hang their protest placards.
They also now have an entire team to blame and throw their one peso coins in case there are brownouts.
The PBA is a playground for the rich. If I were Manny Pangilinan I would invest in other sports instead of wasting millions in a team which is bound to fail and hated by the masses. God Bless.