Freddie Jalasco got another ace on his sleeves yesterday as Basketball Association of the Philippines chairman Lito Puyat wrote the world basketball federation, informing it of the legitimacy of Jalasco’s presidency in the BAP.
In a letter to FIBA secretary-general Stanislav Stankovic, Puyat asked the federation to "ignore any request for FIBA recognition by Graham Lim and his group because Lim convened the BAP national board in violation of the association’s constitution and by-laws."
Puyat told Stankovic that the BAP case had been elevated to the POC Arbitration Committee which recognized Jalasco the rightful president of the beleaguered association.
On Tuesday, the Philippine Olympic Committee, going by its commitment to support Jalasco at all costs, wrote the national Olympic committees in Southeast Asia, informing them of their recognition of Jalasco.
Puyat also informed the FIBA official of the refusal of the group of Quintillano "Tiny" Literal to accept the POC decision and its move to bring the case to the local court. The former BAP president said Literal’s group is "inviting government intervention and possible suspension of the POC by the International Olympic Committee, which usually considers the autonomy of its affiliates all over the world as inviolable."
"I recall that in the late 70s, the POC was threatened with suspension by the IOC for alleged government intervention during the days of Ferdinand Marcos," said Puyat.
As this developed, RP men’s team coach David Zamar reiterated they will play for the legitimate BAP without saying which faction the team is referring to.
But as far as the national women’s basketball team is concerned, Literal is the legitimate BAP president. The coaching staff, headed by Bay Cristobal, and the players came out with a one-page paper supporting Literal’s presidency. — Joey Villar