SAN Miguel Corp. has been beset with controversies regarding the decisions of some Gilas mainstays to pullout on the squad for the upcoming FIBA Asia Championships this September in China.
A few names in a long of list of players include June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Marcio Lassiter, Jean Marc Pingris and Japeth Aguilar. Fajardo is not playing due to an injury he suffered last season but the rest have not indicated valid reasons on why they are not playing this year.
It left me wondering if they are being restrained by their managers from suiting up for the next tourney. We cannot deny that the Ramon Ang-owned franchises have produced the best players in recent memory with the likes of Alvin Patrimonio, Robert Jaworski and Ramon Fernandez.
A Facebook user named Jojo Ventura posted his opinion on Spin.ph’s Facebook page which saying that there’s a growing rivalry between SMC and MVP companies which makes sense at all.
“I don’t like what’s happening at our Philippine Team. I can sense and many agree that it’s between MVP Group VS SMC Group. A bad notion for all Filipinos who love basketball all their lives. Asan na ang #PUSO ninyo. Am still hoping na magising na ang lahat” said Ventura.
Is there a competition between the two mammoth companies? Not a single SMC player is practicing right now for the MVP-owned Gilas Pilipinas squad. I cannot conclude with rumors but it has been an issue since last year as SMC allowed just four of its players to wear the national colors.
Basketball is a team sport and our country should be able to work as a team, set the rivalries aside to get a grip on the most coveted trophy. Lebanon is coming back to the court after their suspension two years ago. China is getting younger and better while Iran is still the team to beat on the tourney.
Despite the presence Andray Blatche in our squad, Gilas Pilipinas will be put inside a pressure cooker next month. A lot is expected from the nationals. Maybe even a championship trophy. Little did they know, we are losing some of our best players. As a Filipino hoops junkie, we deserve to see the country’s best players compete internationally.
Two years ago, we ended the curse of South Korea as a team. We screamed “Puso”. Puso here, puso there. I even became delusional that Gilas will shock the world, beat USA in the Final and win the FIBA World Cup. Beating Korea was sweeter than graduating in high school. Wouldn’t it be nice to surpass our performance two years ago? John Carlo Villaruel