HOMEGROWN Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. at last enters the big league, a dream that has long been sought since it was rejected by a 10-member Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Board in 2011.
It took the petroleum firm, which was started by its president and CEO Dennis Uy in Davao City, five years to realize their PBA dream.
Phoenix Petroleum Philippines vice-president for external affairs lawyer Raymond Zorilla, in a text message Friday, said, "The PBA Board has unanimously approved our entry thru the Barako Bull franchise with particulars and details being finalized as of now."
Since PBA chairman Robert Non recently announced Phoenix Petroleum's entry to the league after approving the sale of the Barako Bull franchise, Dabawenyos were elated by the news, also sharing the joy of the Dabawenyo-owned company.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) executive director lawyer Guillermo B. Iroy, Jr., who also hails from Davao City, said: "It's a success story for a home-bred company whose market is eaten up by the big players."
Basketball fanatic Christopher "Bong" Go, executive assistant of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, for his part, said, "Long overdue na yan. So happy to have a homegrown team like Phoenix. Congrats to my good friend Dennis Uy."
University of Mindanao (UM) sports director Joaquin "Boy" Sarabia said this will give more opportunities for Davao players to make it to the PBA through the Phoenix team.
"Daghan ta kaayo maayong players diri. At least mas dako ang tyansa nga makasulod atong mga players sa PBA (We have very good players here. They will now have good chances to make it to the big league)," Sarabia said.
Ateneo de Davao University Blue Knights coach Pocholo Elegino added, "That's great news. Hopefully mahatagan ug break ang atong homegrown talents pud sa Davao (Hoping that our Davao players will also be given a break)."
However, Phoenix Petroleum will have to absorb the entire Barako Bull and their contractual obligations as part of the condition of the sale.
Holy Child College of Davao Reds coach Nestor Sorrosa, meanwhile, said, "That's a welcome development. Phoenix has always been very active and very supportive when it comes to sports development locally and nationally."
Phoenix Petroleum earlier joined the D-League with reigning UAAP champion Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws.
Current Koy Banal-coached Barako mainstays JC Intal, Michael Miranda, Prince Caperal, Paul Joseph Sorongon, Yutien Andrada, John Rodney Brondial, Ryan Roose Garcia, James Forrester, Jeric Marco Fortuna, Emmanuel Monfort, Michael Pennisi, Joshua Urbiztondo, Marnel Baracael, William Wilson and Chico Lanete will likely suit for Phoenix Petroleum.