Eala, Canlas named to FIBA commissions

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson -

SBP executive director Noli Eala and orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Jose Raul (George) Canlas of St. Luke’s Hospital have been appointed to two prestigious FIBA commissions, it was announced by FIBA administrator and sport development director Zoran Radovic the other day.

Eala and Abdulla Al-Ansari of the United Arab Emirates were the only Asians named to the Legal Commission whose other members are president Pierre Collomb of France, vice president Ken Madsen of Australia, Carlos Beltran of Puerto Rico, Cyriel Coomans of Belgium, Wolfgang Hilgert of Germany, Antonio Mizzi of Malta, Badara Ndiagne of Senegal, Eleonora Rangelova of Bulgaria and Usie Richards of the Virgin Islands.

Canlas was the only Asian designated to the Medical Commission headed by president Heinz Gunther of Austria and vice president Souhail Sayegh of Switzerland. The other members are Alphonse Bile of the Ivory Coast, Luis Castillo of Uruguay, Cesar de Oliveira of Brazil, Aboubacar Gueye of Guinea, Peter Harcourt of Australia, Jacques Huguet of France, Andrew Pipe of Canada, Dragan Radovanovic of Serbia and Rosario Urena of Spain.

FIBA released the assignments of 109 officials, including 14 from Asia, to its 10 commissions after the recent three-day World Congress in Istanbul. France’s Yvan Mainini was elected FIBA president with a four year term, succeeding Australia’s Bob Elphinston. FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann of Switzerland was given a fresh mandate to serve up to 2022, an unprecedented 12-year contract in recognition of his outstanding work.

The 10 FIBA commissions are competitions, technical, women, appeals panel, arbitral tribunal, medical, membership, finance, legal and youth.

The Philippines, China and Singapore were the only Asian countries with two representatives in the FIBA commissions. Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Japan, Korea, India and Hong Kong had one member each. FIBA-Asia secretary-general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock of Malaysia and Seah Ling of Singapore were named to the Technical Commission. Former FIBA president Carl Ching Men Ky’s daughter Mabel of Hong Kong was appointed to the Membership Commission.

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Eala, who attended the World Congress, said it was an honor to be named to the Legal Commission particularly as the Philippines was involved in a bitter internal leadership dispute that led to a suspension by FIBA in 2005-07. Baumann and Madsen, both lawyers, became acquainted with Eala during talks that ended with the lifting of the suspension.

“The appointments were made by the FIBA Central Board through Mr. Baumann,” said Eala. “During the Congress, several issues were discussed. Those relevant to Asia included the prohibition of a zonal secretary-general to be an official of a sub-zone or national federation, the limit of 70 years old for a zonal secretary-general effective in 2014, the proposal to increase the number of countries in Olympic basketball from 12 to 16 by 2016 and the possible inclusion of men’s and women’s three-on-three as additional events by the 2020 Olympics.”

Eala said he was approached by several FIBA officials about the progress of Smart-Gilas and the return of the Philippines as a contender in Asia.

“Apparently, the Smart-Gilas program is the only dedicated national team program in the world,” continued Eala. “There was initial scepticism that it couldn’t work because PBA players wouldn’t form the nucleus. But with our recent showing in the FIBA-Asia Stankovic Cup, a lot of officials asked about how we’ve been able to stay competitive. Officials from Brazil, Serbia and Tunisia were among those who spoke with us.”

Aside from participating on the floor as a delegate during the World Congress, Eala also served on the resource panel at a discussion on the three-on-three format. “Reviewing our experience at the Youth Olympics in Singapore, I really think we could’ve gone all the way to the semifinals if only we played South Africa, not the Virgin Islands, in our first game but that’s the luck of the draw,” he said. “The three-on-three rules are fit for quick teams like us. The 10-second shot clock and the requirement of two touches make it a little difficult for big teams to set up at the post. If you deny the entry pass, there won’t be too much time left to bring the ball inside.”

Eala said other issues he was involved in discussing were the possible alliance of Asia and the Pacific, as in the Davis Cup, and the likely rebidding of the hosting rights for the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships which may be moved out of Lebanon. Eala told FIBA-Asia officials that Manila will put up a serious bid to stage the 2012 London Olympics qualifier.

Canlas was appointed to his second consecutive four-year term with the Medical Commission. He would’ve worked at the just-concluded World Championships in Turkey but opted to be assigned to the Youth Olympics in Singapore as supervisory doctor.

Canlas has been affiliated with FIBA since 1998. His resume lists participation in three World Championships, two as FIBA supervisory doctor. He has also worked in two Olympics, once as supervisory doctor, and several FIBA continental championships.

“I’ve encountered all the big names in basketball, world-wide and even treated some of them,” said Canlas who took care of Spain’s Pau Gasol at the 2006 World Championships in Saitama. “Most satisfying is seeing my work and recommendations being applied in how FIBA basketball is played from how the court is made to the rules.”

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