AS a way to show his frustrations over the selection of the 15 additional members of the PBA Greats list, Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez skipped the 40 Greatest PBA Players Awards night at the Newport Performing Arts Theatre in Resorts World Manila last Wednesday evening.
The event, which was dubbed as PBA Fab@40 was organized to fete 15 additional players, who were added into the original 25 players, who were honored in 2000. It also featured players walking in the catwalk in their summer, denim, preppy and formal wear.
Fernandez questioned that the selection committee’s decisions in selecting the additional 15 players, while excluding players whom Fernandez believes are more deserving.
“I will not say who are not deserving, but I’d rather question why Abe King, Nelson Asaytono, Olsen Racela, Danny Seigle, Bong Hawkins, among others were not included,” Fernandez told reporters yesterday.
Many sectors howled in protest when the 10-man selection committee headed by PBA Chairman of the Board of Governors Patrick Gregorio picked two-time MVPs James Yap, Danny Ildefonso and Willie Miller, one-time MVP winners Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, Kelly Williams, Jayjay Helterbrand, Jimmy Alapag, Mark Caguioa and Arwind Santos, along with Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Kerby Raymundo, Chito Loyzaga and Marlou Aquino.
“Forty will never be enough. We’ve had so many great PBA players since 1975. But to celebrate our 40th season, we had to do the difficult task of naming the 40 greatest PBA players – the pillars of the league. Mga idolo ng bawat Pilipino,” chairman Gregorio told spin.ph.
They were added to earlier 25 players who were named into the Great list headed by Fernandez and the other four-time MVP awardee Alvin Patrimonio, Robert Jaworski, Bogs Adornado, Abet Guidaben, Benjie Paras, Atoy Co, Freddie Hubalde, Philip Cezar, Ricky Brown, Johnny Abarrientos, Ato Agustin, Francis Arnaiz, Allan Caidic, Hector Calma, Jerry Codinera, Kenneth Duremdes, Bernie Fabiosa, Danny Florencio, Jojo Lastimosa, Lim Eng Beng, Samboy Lim, Ronnie Magsanoc, Vergel Meneses and Manny Paner.
However, aside from Fernandez, other members of the 25 Greats Atoy Co, Freddie Hubalde, Philip Cezar, Manny Paner, Kenneth Duremdes and Benjie Paras as well as Marlou Aquino also did not show up to the banquet to honor their contributions to the league.