Twenty days after sharing with the public the difficulties of forming a Gilas Pilipinas team due to technicalities in the Asian Games, PBA executives hosted a powwow with the media again Monday.
This time, there was relief and pure joy in having accomplished the mission and sharing the stories on this challenging journey to the Asiad gold medal.
“We’re happy we took this challenge,” said PBA chairman Ricky Vargas as he shared the table with vice governor Bobby Rosales, Ginebra governor and Gilas team manager Alfrancis Chua and commissioner Willie Marcial.
“When we were going there, grabe pinag-uusapan namin, what a big risk we’re taking. We’ll play four games and the fear was we will lose every game and it’s going to be a big social media crisis for us. But we said no, we’ll still play.”
Vargas thanked Gilas’ major backers, San Miguel Corp. president and CEO Ramon S. Ang and MVP Group chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, for their full support in this endeavor.
“You can imagine these two gentlemen getting together. The future of Philippine basketball is good,” he said.
The pro league accepted the primary role in the win-the-gold mission and proved, despite the many difficulties including players’ availability and eligibility and logistical issues in China, the goal was attainable.
“For the first time, we were allowed to manage the team, choose the players, and do everything we wanted. The SBP just empowered the PBA so we have to be humble in this victory because four years from now, we’ll defend this crown. And it starts today,” said Vargas, who thanked SBP president Al Panlilio for entrusting the PBA with the Asiad campaign. (From pba.ph)