From: Manolo Pedralvez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: right on column
To: "BAP BAP" <email@example.com>
Date: Monday, 6 July, 2009, 9:49 AM
Right On Column
SBP’s not so smart move
THE Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) has been steaming and beefing these days over the “meddling” by the International Basketball Federation, known by its French acronym FIBA, which created a special commission last month to look into the present leadership of the sport in the country.
The SBP came out last Tuesday with full-page ads in two leading broadsheets, which was basically in two parts.
While the first section trumpeted its long list of accomplishments, the second portion was critical of the decision of the FIBA Central Board – a body composed of 45 reputable members of the world cage group – in forming the commission.
SBP executive director Noli Eala, who appeared at the PSA forum the very same day the ads were published, skirted the issue when asked if the SBP’s action meant it was defying the FIBA move, merely saying “it is an exercise in leadership.”
However, it was obvious during the SBP press briefing, led by its president Manny V. Pangilinan, that the association was displeased abut the commission’s invitation for it and its rival, the “BAP-SBP,” to come over to the FIBA headquarters in Geneva from July 20 to 22 to resolve the latest imbroglio.
The commission is composed of FIBA honorary president Carl Menky Ching, former FIBA secretary general Borislav Stankovic and Dr. Ken Madsen of the FIBA Legal Commission.
To a man, the SBP leaders said they would snub the invitation, even if it risked the country’s suspension once more, adding that they thought the commission may have already “prejudged” the matter.
They said they were clueless of the issues being raised by FIBA.
However, we obtained a copy of the May 28 letter sent by FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann to both parties stating that its Central Board had reviewed “the matter related to the institutional legitimacy of the Philippine Basketball Federation and its current leadership, (underscoring ours),” which led to the commission’s creation.
Here, in black-and-white, is the crux of the controversy.
This brings us back to the landmark “Bangkok Agreement” of February 4, 2007 .
Signed then by the Basketball Association of the Philippines and Pilipinas Basketball, this ought to have served as a framework in merging both groups into a unified association for the sport.
Pangilinan, who headed the three-man arbitration panel, then, was a signatory to that agreement.
A pertinent provision of the pact, hand-written by PLDT lawyer Marilyn An Nuevo, is its membership clause: “All bona fide members of BAP and PB appearing in the lists submitted by the BAP and PB to FIBA pursuant to the Tokyo Communiqué shall be admitted as ‘members,’ instead of ‘probationary members’ of SBP.”
In other words, the rosters of both BAP and PB would be recognized as voting members during the “Unity Congress” that would elect the new group’s officers a year after the agreement was signed.
For the record, the BAP presented 70 legitimate members of its group while PB hardly less than that – although it did have the powerhouse leagues such as the PBA, PBL, UAAP and NCAA on its side.
Sadly, as the records show, there were not one but two electoral exercises by two groups in 2008: one on June 4 by “BAP-SBP” and the other on June 12 by the SBP.
The first elections, conducted at the Century Park Sheraton ballroom, was attended by nearly 70 member-stakeholders that were validated under the Bangkok Agreement.
On the other hand, 19 showed up for the SBP polls staged at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City .
A longtime basketball observer noted that of the19, five were not on original list approved by FIBA, two were no-shows while three withdrew their support because there was no quorum.
Elected officials of the June 4, 2008 polls wrote FIBA last February 7 “appealing” for recognition, claiming that the elections were done based on the conditions of the Bangkok Agreement.
If SBP can prove to the world basketball governing body that its own June 12, 2008 polls complied with the same Bangkok Agreement terms, end of story – no need for ads, press briefings, character attacks and rhetoric.
Instead of crying foul, this should have been the SBP’s smart move.
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