Election of officers is SBP's immediate concern
Nelson Beltran ( - July 11, 2016 - 5:05pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ immediate concern after its successful hosting of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament is its election of officers tentatively set August 8.

Manny V. Pangilinan is to step down as president with the expiration of his tenure and his personal choice as successor is current vice president Al Panlilio, the able chief executive officer of the organizing committee of the just concluded Manila OQT.

“I don’t think there’s anybody who will contend with Al. If there’s anybody, he should have the capability to match what MVP has done in Philippine basketball. Or God forbid,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.

Pangilinan is the catalyst for the rebirth of Philippine basketball. Under his leadership, Team Phl ended long years of World Cup limbo in 2014.

But the telecommunication mogul is now just serving as SBP president on holdover capacity since the SBP board just postponed its supposed January election so as not to hinder preparation for the Olympic qualifier.

By the next board meeting, 13 new faces will sit on the board joining 12 holdovers that will include PBA representatives Robert Non and Chito Narvasa, and PBA D-League’s Erick Arejola,

From the new board of trustees will come the new SBP president. Under the SBP by-laws, Pangilinan is no longer qualified to run for another term.

As the likely successor of Pangilinan as SBP president, Panlilio has had talks with PBA top officials with regards to national team program for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China and the succeeding 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

With the shift of FIBA to new system of competition and calendar, the SBP is looking at reviving the Gilas Pilipinas cadet program.

Under its new calendar, FIBA has four window periods in a year running in conflict with the PBA regular season, making PBA players doubtful for tour of duty with the national team.

SBP and PBA are in talks to avoid possible tug-of-war for blue-chip amateur players.

There have been proposals put on the table, and it’s being firmed up in the continuing discussion between Panlilio and Narvasa.

Among players likely to be part of the new Gilas cadet pool are Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer, Mac Belo, Roger Pogoy, Chris Tolomia, Russel Escoto, Von Pessumal and Jiovani Jalalon.

The question is whether they be allowed to join the PBA Rookie Draft while rendering service to Gilas.

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