Senate Resolution on the Philippine Basketball Crisis
- From: "KobeWanKenobi" <kobewankenobi@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 14 Nov 2005 01:11:07 -0800
The following will reportedly be signed today by the Senators. Hope it
brings a peaceful resolution to the problem of Philippine basketball.
THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC)
OF THE PHILIPPINES )
Second Regular Session )
S E N A T E
COMMITTEE REPORT NO. _____
Submitted by the Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports on November
Re: P.S. Res. No. 298
Recommending the adoption and consideration of the suggested
recommendations contained herein and their immediate implementation.
Sponsor: Senator Lapid
The Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports to which was referred PS
RES. 298 introduced by Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, entitled:
DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON GAMES, AMUSEMENT AND SPORTS TO CONDUCT AN
INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, INTO THE IMPOSITION OF A BAN ON THE
PHILIPPINES BY THE INTERNATIONAL BASKETBALL FEDERATION (FIBA) FROM
COMPETING IN ALL FIBA-SANCTIONED TOURNAMENTS"
has considered the same and has the honor to report them back to the
Senate with the attached findings and recommendations.
MANUEL "LITO" M. LAPID
Committee on Games,
Amusement and Sports
RAMON "BONG" REVILLA, JR. JINGGOY EJERCITO ESTRADA
M E M B E R S
MAR A. ROXAS RODOLFO G. BIAZON
JOKER P. ARROYO PANFILO M. LACSON
ALFREDO S. LIM SERGIO R. OSMEÑA, III
JUAN M. FLAVIER FRANCIS N. PANGILINAN
President Pro-Tempore Majority Floor Leader
AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR.
FRANKLIN M. DRILON
I. PREFATORY STATEMENT
This is the report of the Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports on
the public hearing held last August 31, 2005 on PS Res. 298, which
seeks to inquire on the incident that led to the imposition of a ban on
the Philippines by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) from
competing in all FIBA-sanctioned basketball tournaments. Because of the
ban, the Philippines was not able to participate in the recently
concluded Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) and FIBA-Asia.
Moreover, there is a looming concern that because of the expulsion of
the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) by the Philippine
Olympic Committee (POC) as one of its duly recognized National Sports
Associations (NSAs), the country will not see action in the coming 23rd
edition of the SEA Games, which will be held in the Philippines, Asian
Games, World Olympics and all other major world basketball tournaments.
It appears that the expulsion of the BAP from the roster of member-NSAs
in the POC was brought about by the alleged "continuing defiance and
intransigence" of the former on reforms agreed upon during a summit
of all basketball stakeholders called to revive the deteriorating state
of Philippine basketball in the international arena. As the committee
respects the autonomy of the sports associations concerned being
private entities, its focus will be more on possible policies which the
government can adopt as part of its oversight function over all sports
associations in-charge of elite sports, making ensure that the
financial support being provided annually is rightfully and judiciously
used for the advancement of the sports in the country. It is the main
concern of this committee to ascertain that a Philippine Basketball
Team, which officially carries the national color of the country, shall
be well prepared and present at all times in all international
competitions to provide honors to our people and country.
II. STATEMENT OF FACTS
On April 19, 2005, a basketball summit was called by the POC in order
to discuss and ultimately forge reforms and cooperation that is
intended to rehabilitate and resurrect Philippine basketball. Major
basketball stakeholders were present in the summit, including the
Basketball Association of the Philippines, Philippine Basketball
Association (PBA), Philippine Basketball League (PBL), National College
Athletic Association (NCAA) and University Athletic Association of the
It is said that the call for a summit was triggered by the alarming
performance of the Philippine Basketball team in its previous stints
such as the 15th place or second to the last finish in the FIBA Asia
Championships two years ago and 2nd to the last place in the Jones Cup
in Taipei. It was also pointed out that the Philippine team lost all
games in the Stankovic Cup last November, also in Taipei by as much as
sixty (60) points to Japan, fifty-two (52) to Qatar, thirty-one (31) to
Syria and twenty-two (22) to Kuwait. It appears that the dismay of the
POC came to its highest when the Philippine team that the BAP was
putting together for the South East Asia Basketball Association (SEABA)
games lost to a team known as Paranaque Jets purportedly composed of
actors and former players in both the amateur and professional leagues.
In the summit, an agreement was forged among the stakeholders to
cooperate in an effort to resurrect Philippine basketball. For a
starter, the stakeholders formed a Working Committee to be headed by
POC President Jose "Peping" Cojuangco with PBA coach Vincent
"Chot" Reyes as the appointed project director and in-charge of
selecting the athletes, coaching and training staff. Moreover, the POC
and PBA offered technical, financial and organizational support to the
BAP in the formation of a national basketball team in the following
2. World Basketball Championships
3. Asian Games
4. Asian Basketball Confederation
5. Southeast Asian Games
6. Southeast Asian Basketball Association
7. Jones Cup
In return, the BAP Executive Board came-up with Resolution No. 001-05,
dated April 21, 2005, expressing appreciation to the POC and PBA for
their commitment to provide technical, financial and organizational
support in the formation and training of national basketball teams. The
resolution expressed assurance that the BAP will fully cooperate with
the working committee of the POC.
Thereafter, press statements from the BAP came out expressing
appreciation for the support from the POC and the PBA but reiterating
the association's autonomy and distinction as the internationally
recognized basketball body in the Philippines by FIBA. The BAP stressed
that it has the sole authority to form the team, coaching and training
staff for the SEABA. It maintained that its declaration of full
cooperation and support to the working committee is only to the extent
of welcoming technical advice and not submission of their authority to
form the national squad. It was also their understanding that the
formation of a team in the Southeast Asian level will be under its
direct supervision. These series of events prompted the POC to place
BAP under indefinite suspension.
On June 3, 2005, the BAP was served with a notice of indefinite
suspension. It appears that immediately after the suspension, another
basketball association was already formed, which is the Philippine
Basketball Federation, Inc. (PBFI), composed of, among others, the PBL,
UAAP and NCAA. The Securities and Exchange Commission on June 17, 2005
or 2 weeks after the suspension approved the PBFI's Articles of
Incorporation. A week after the SEC approval, a letter from POC
Secretary General Steve Hontiveros was sent to the BAP informing it
that, "the substantial stakeholders of Philippine Basketball have
formed their severance from BAP by forming the PBFI". In a general
assembly held on July 27, 2005, the PBFI's application to become a
full-fledged NSA member of the POC was accepted subject to the
condition that PBFI should secure accreditation from the International
Basketball Federation (FIBA).
After the suspension of the BAP was made and while a new basketball
association is being formed and ultimately accepted as a full fledged
NSA member of the POC, an election for new set of BAP officers was
conducted with former DILG Secretary Joey Lina being elected as its new
president. Under the new BAP leadership, structural and policy reforms
were instituted and presented to the POC in compliance with the
latter's call for cooperation amongst all major basketball
stakeholders. A communication to this effect, dated June 27, 2005, was
sent to the POC in the hope that it will put an end to the suspension
order. Moreover, in the general assembly of the POC held on June 30,
2005, BAP President Joey Lina reiterated their reform plans and
appealed for the lifting of the suspension order. Contrary to what the
BAP expected, an outright expulsion of their association was carried
out by the vote of thirty-three (33) in favor, one (1) abstention, two
(2) against, and three (3) absent out of the thirty-nine (39) voting
members of the general assembly.
As a consequence of the expulsion, FIBA effected the banning of the
Philippines from participating in any of its sanctioned international
tournaments until such time that the issues haunting the basketball
sport in the country are resolved. Nevertheless, FIBA maintained that
it will continue to recognize the BAP as their legitimate National
Federation responsible for basketball in the Philippines and rejected
the proposal of the POC to appoint it a caretaker of basketball affairs
in the country or recognize PBFI as the new national federation in the
A. Whether or not there are legitimate grounds for the expulsion of the
By the POC as one of its recognized Snaps;
B. Whether or not there was an effort on the part of the BAP and the
Settle their differences in order to save the country from being banned
by FIBA in all its international sanctioned tournaments; and
C. Whether or not the performance of the Philippine National
Team in international competitions deteriorated over the years.
IV. DISCUSSION AND FINDINGS
A. FIRST ISSUE - On the withdrawal of recognition and expulsion of
BAP from the POC roster of membership.
The relevant provisions of the Philippine Olympic Committee
Constitution and By-laws state as follows:
Section 1. The POC shall have the following aims:
x x x x x x x x x
k. To organize, together with respective National Sports
Associations, the preparation and selection of athletes, thereby
ensuring that the Philippines is represented at the Olympic games, as
well as at the regional, continental and intercontinental games having
the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.
x x x
Section 1. The POC shall have the following powers and functions:
a. It shall be the sole authority responsible for the representation of
the Philippines at the Olympic Games, Asian Games, Southeast Asian
Games as well as other events held under the patronage of the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and to undertake the organization
of these Games when they are held in the Philippines. The term
representation as used herein covers the decision to participate and
the entry of athletes selected by their respective National Sports
Associations (NSAs). (Underscoring supplied.)
NATIONAL SPORTS ASSOCIATION
Section 1. The National Sports Associaions (NSA) shall have the
following functions, powers and duties:
x x x x x x x x x
h. To select the athletes, trainers, coaches and other officials for
their national teams taking into consideration not only their athletic
abilities but also their moral character;
x x x x x x x x x
Section 7. Membership of an NSA in the POC shall cease:
a. Upon disbandment of the NSA
b. Upon expulsion following a hearing given to the
representative of the NSA, for the following reasons:
- Non-payment of annual subscription of the NSA, should such exist, for
three (3) consecutive years
- Expulsion of the NSA by its International Federation
- Infringement of these Constitution and By-Laws or of the Olympic
During the committee hearing, it was confirmed that in the general
assembly of the NSAs held on June 30, 2005, the motion to expel the BAP
as one of the recognized NSAs by the POC was approved by more than the
required three-fourths (¾) vote of its general membership.
POC President Jose "Peping" Cojuangco mentioned that the basis of
its expulsion decision is the BAP's defiance to its commitment to
respect the agreement made among basketball stakeholders present during
a basketball summit, which includes the cooperation in forming a
training pool for the coming international competitions.
It was insisted that the BAP failed to give the cooperation, which
their agreement required. It was stressed that the agreement called for
full cooperation of the BAP with the POC, the Working Committee, the
Technical Committee, the Training Staff and the Coaching Staff. It was
pointed out that all parties in the subject agreement conceded that
Vicente "Chot" Reyes will head the program with full powers to
choose his coaching and training staff and the athletes who would
participate in the competitions.
On the other hand, BAP President Joey Lina asserted that the expulsion
of the BAP was baseless, factually and legally, as except for the
phrase "continuing defiance and intransigence", it was not clear to
them why the BAP was expelled. He argued that the POC Charter does not
allow the POC to supplant the BAP with all its prerogatives and rights,
particularly, in the selection and formation of a national team.
According to BAP President Joey Lina, if they are going to interpret
the agreement, which became the basis of their expulsion by the POC,
the same is tantamount to the abandonment of their rights and
prerogatives in the selection and formation of athletes, which is
contrary to the charter of the POC.
In the submitted communication of the BAP to the POC, they made mention
of its full support to the working committee formed by the POC as far
as cooperation is concerned. The BAP clarified that what is actually
contained in the agreement entered into between the BAP and the PBA is
that the Southeast Asian Level such as the SEA Games and SEABA will be
handled by the BAP while the Asian and the World level such as the
Asian Games, FIBA Asia, Jones Cup and World Olympics will be handled by
It has been observed by the committee that in the testimonies given by
the resource persons speaking on behalf of the POC as in all the
submitted communications sent by the POC to the BAP and FIBA, including
the August 01, 2005 letter of POC President to the Chairman of this
committee, there was no mention of the existence of any of the
conditions under the aforecited Section 7 of the POC By-laws by which
an NSA member can be expelled. This, undoubtedly, puts in question the
validity of the POC decision to suspend and ultimately expel the BAP as
a member NSA. To go by the statements of Senator Pia Cayetano, no
amount of agreement of parties can change what is in the law.
It is the committee's impression that what prompted the POC to
suspend the membership status of the BAP is the latter's initiative
to form its own national team and coaching staff bound for the SEABA.
Pertinent to this point, the aforecited POC Constitution and By-laws
provides that, the POC has the sole authority and responsibility for
the representation of the Philippines at the Olympic Games, Asian
Games, Southeast Asian Games as well as other games under the patronage
of the International Olympic Committee; and that the term
representation covers the decision to participate and the entry of
athletes selected by their respective National Sports Associations.
Specifically, the said charter provides that the NSA has the power to
select the athletes, trainers, coaches and other officials for their
Former POC President Cristy Ramos-Jalasco expressed disbelief that the
present POC has denied the right of the BAP to form its own team, when
in fact the POC should be the one protecting the autonomy and
independence of an NSA.
Although POC President Cojuangco acknowledges the prerogative of NSAs
to select athletic delegations to international events, he insisted
that the final decision should be approved or accredited by the POC, so
they can overrule any submission of an athlete who they feel is not
qualified. While admitting that such policy is not provided for in the
provisions of the POC Constitution and By-Laws, he maintains that it is
a standing rule based on the POC's own interpretation.
To this, Senator Pia Cayetano opined that a law defines certain
obligations, which are intended to set as parameters to parties in
order to move towards a single direction. Clearly, beyond traditions
and several interpretations, the letter of the law must be respected
and followed. In this case, the law has placed under the authority of
the NSAs the power to select the athletes, trainers, coaches and other
officials for their national teams.
FIBA position on the issue of expulsion of the BAP as a member NSA
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the mother federation
of international basketball, has frowned upon the decision of the POC
to expel the BAP from the POC membership. According to some reports,
FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann accused the POC of violating the
spirit of the Olympic movement. He added that erring officials of the
BAP could have been removed rather than expel the whole association.
In the August 30, 2005 letter of FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann
to the POC, it made a conclusion that the expulsion order is
inappropriate and out of proportion taking into consideration the lack
of leeway accorded to the new leadership of the BAP to adjust and meet
the demands of the POC. Incidentally, the new officers of the BAP were
elected at the time of suspension of the BAP.
FIBA believes that the suspension of the BAP was a maneuver for the
expulsion of the BAP and to pave the way for the recognition of the
newly formed basketball association, the PBFI. FIBA declared that it is
inappropriate to use basketball as a sport-political game between
opposing sides and it cannot accept the decision of the POC to remove
one group in favor of another. FIBA did not also approve of the idea
that the POC will act as a caretaker body that would assume the BAP
role and duties.
At present, FIBA has been consistent in its continued recognition of
the BAP as a National Federation affiliate. However, in order to show
respect to the POC, as the highest sports governing body in the
Philippines, FIBA banned any team from the Philippines from
participating in all FIBA-sanctioned international tournaments, until
such time that the POC reverses its expulsion order against the BAP.
In what can be considered as a last ditch effort to have a basketball
team seeing action in the SEA Games this November, POC President Jose
Cojuangco had a meeting with FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann in
Geneva, Switzerland a month after the hearing of this committee. As a
result of that meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was entered
into where the POC was given the authority by FIBA to spearhead the
formation of a new basketball governing body not later than March 31,
2006. Part of the FIBA guidelines for the formation of a new federation
called for the cooperation of the following stakeholders: Philippine
Basketball Association, Philippine Basketball League, UAAP, NCAA and
the BAP President.
As an aftermath of the Geneva meeting, POC President Cojuangco received
a letter from Baumann dated October 27, 2005 implying that although the
formation of the body should be not later than Mar. 31, 2006, FIBA
intends to reinstate the Philippines in all sanctioned tournaments only
after the said deadline, which leaves our county no chance of having a
basketball squad in the 2005 Manila SEA Games. Nevertheless, FIBA
presented two (2) alternatives that will make possible the
participation and defense of the Philippines' five-time SEA Games
basketball title, which are: (1) return to status quo when the BAP was
fully recognized by the POC; and (2) compliance with the Memorandum of
Understanding by forming a new governing body with the cooperation of
various stakeholders including the BAP President.
In the meantime, FIBA has threatened the Philippines and other SEA
Games member countries with sanctions if they will participate in any
basketball event that will be organized by the POC during the 23rd
Manila SEA Games.
B. SECOND ISSUE - On the effort by the POC and BAP to settle
differences to effect the lifting of the ban by FIBA.
It appears that at the time the BAP was served a notice of indefinite
suspension on June 3, 2005, the POC already had a definitive plan of
replacing the former's membership with the newly formed PBFI
especially when considered that its Articles of Incorporation was
approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) non June 17,
2005 or 2 weeks after the suspension.
A week after the SEC approval, a letter from POC Secretary General
Steve Hontiveros was sent to the BAP informing it that "the
substantial stakeholders of Philippine Basketball, have formed their
severance from the BAP by forming the PBFI".
Immediately after the BAP elected its new set of officers, a board
meeting was convened in order to craft reforms to comply with
conditions set forth by the POC for the advancement of basketball
affairs in the country. In a letter, dated June 27, 2005, the BAP
informed the POC President on the on-going revitalization efforts being
done in their association that seek to address the concerns of the POC,
particularly, the call to mend its relationship with other basketball
stakeholders. It further informed the POC on the new set of leaders
that have just been elected.
On the following day, an addendum to the June 27 letter was sent by BAP
President Jose Lina to POC Chairman Robert Aventajado expressing the
BAP's commitment to the subject agreement, to rectify whatever
mistakes and misunderstandings it has with the POC and to observe the
best procedure to comply with what has been agreed upon in the
formation of national teams that will compete in international
competitions. The BAP reiterated its appeal for the lifting of the
indefinite suspension imposed against it by the POC.
In the June 30, 2005 general assembly of the POC, BAP President Joey
Lina mentioned that he appealed almost in bended knees for the BAP to
be taken back even as a prodigal son. The appeal was not heeded;
instead, an expulsion order was handed down.
This expulsion of the BAP resulted in the banning of the Philippine
Team from participating in SEABA tournament where our team was the
defending champion for years. FIBA made a firm stand that the only way
by which the ban on Philippine Team can be lifted is if the POC
reverses its order. The BAP once again made a last minute appeal to the
POC for it to at least grant the team a temporary permit to play in
order to defend their title, but to no avail. The failure of our team
to participate in the SEABA tournament resulted in the loss of our slot
to play in the Asian Basketball Conference in Doha, Qatar.
In a letter dated July 27, 2005, of the Chairman of this committee to
the POC, through its President, an appeal was made for the
reconsideration of the expulsion order and for the concerned parties to
come up with an agreement acceptable to both them. However, the POC, in
response to the said letter, declared that by imposing the ultimate
sanction, it was hoping to restore BAP's sensibilities and jolt it
out of its intransigence and arrogance. Moreover, no less than Sen.
Jinggoy Estrada, Vice Chairman of the Committee, got a negative
response from the POC President when asked about the possibility of
lifting the expulsion order. To this, Sen. Pia Cayetano conveyed her
dismay over the POC's close-ended expulsion decision. The lady
senator further insisted that there are moral issues such as
forgiveness and unification, which should be considered.
The committee is of the view that the recent happenings within the BAP
starting with the election of its new officers, the crafting of
revitalization efforts not only within the association but with various
stakeholders and the repeated calls for unity with the POC show the
humility by which the BAP dealt with the expulsion order from the POC.
Evidently, the POC was not satisfied and no longer interested to give
the new leadership of the BAP a chance to prove itself.
C. THIRD ISSUE - On the performance of the Philippine National
Basketball Team in international competitions.
The Philippines has been a holder of respectable records in the
International Basketball Championships briefly enumerated as follows:
- 1936 - 5th in the Berlin Olympic basketball event despite a
single loss to Team USA.
- 1936-1972 - eight-time representative of Asia in the Olympic Games
- 1973 - ABC Champion (held in Manila)
- 1974 - Represented Asia in the World Basketball Tournament in
- 1978 - Manila hosted the World Basketball Tournament and was seeded
in the championship round; lost all games and placed 8th. Represented
by all amateur team.
- 1981 - the NCC-Philippine team, led by 10 American players, won the
Jones Cup. Only two homegrown Filipinos played for this team.
- 1983 - Participated in the ABC tournament and won the first 3 games
in the qualifying round but was forfeited because of ineligibility of
two naturalized players.
- 1985 - The San Miguel PBA team, led by the core of the NCC players
and reinforced by three naturalized players, won the Jones Cup against
the US team 108-100 in overtime.
- 1986 - The Philippine team, reinforced by 2 naturalized players,
won the ABC title at the expense of South Korea.
- 1990 - All Filipino PBA players coached by Robert Jaworski placed
second in the Asian Games held in Beijing
- 1994 - All Filipino PBA players coached by Norman Black placed
fourth place in the Asian Games held in Hiroshima.
- 1998 - All Filipino PBA players coached by Tim Cone placed third in
the Asian Games held in Chiang Mai.
- 2002 - Placed fourth in the Asian Games held in Busan - coached
by Jong Uichico.
- 2005 - Third place in the Jones Cup held in Taiwan - coached by
- 2005 - First place in the Brunei Sultan's Cup held in Brunei -
coached by Chot Reyes.
However, recent participation reveals that the performance of the
Philippine National Team has deteriorated as displayed by its poor
performance in the Asian and World Level tournaments such as the 15th
place finish in the FIBA Asia Championships two years ago, 2nd to the
last place in the Jones Cup in Taipei, and the winless games in the
Stankovic Cup in November of last year, to name a few. It appears that
all FIBA-Asia participation of the country that were handled by the
BAP, which are qualifying tournaments for FIBA World and the Olympic
Games, turned out to be a big failure. Nevertheless, in the Southeast
Asian level, the country has been the perennial champion in both the
SEA Games and the SEABA for many years now.
It came out during the hearing that the 2004 participation of the
Philippines in the Stankovic Cup came out a big disappointment because
the team that was sent to represent the country is the basketball team
of the Philippine College of Criminology. Moreover, Coach Chot Reyes
commented that the surprising lost of the Philippine National Team to
the Paranaque Jets, composed of actors and former local leaguers from
PBA and MBA, is a cause for alarm. The BAP stated that such loss should
not be considered as a sweeping basis of the Philippine Training
Pool's competence. The BAP further justified that the conflicting and
hectic schedules of the various local leagues makes the forming of a
strong national team almost impossible.
The seventy (70) year old BAP, as an organization, has become highly
politicized especially in recent administrations where power struggle
is apparent. In fact, there has been an occasion in the year 2001 where
the BAP was suspended by FIBA from participating in its sanctioned
tournaments due to leadership crisis. There was also a time when a
break away group from the BAP, known as the Basketball Association of
the Philippines, Inc. (BAPI), tried to gain recognition as the official
NSA by having BAPI incorporated with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. However, the move did not capitalize for failing to gain
Through the years, the BAP, as the National Federation in charge of
basketball affairs in the Philippines, seemed to have lost its control
over major basketball stakeholders such as the PBL, UAAP and NCAA. This
and the lack of unity and cooperation among the stakeholders are some
of the factors that led to the decline of basketball affairs in the
country. Moreover, the absence of a shared direction or goal among the
stakeholders has derailed the association's effort to introduce
developmental programs in the sport.
Efforts, if any, to upbeat the basketball affairs are hardly
recognizable as the performance level of the Philippine National Team
in international basketball tournaments continue to decline. If not for
the subject suspension from the POC, no major policy reforms such as
the one initiated by the newly installed BAP President Jose Lina, Jr.
could have been formulated.
Nevertheless, while the committee recognizes that reforms are badly
needed to uplift the deteriorating condition of basketball sport in the
country and that the POC, being the mother association of the sport,
had every right to withdraw its recognition to an erring National
Sports Association, the reason for such withdrawal of recognition and
ultimate expulsion of the BAP as a member NSA as well as the abruptness
by which it was replaced by another basketball association, PBFI, leave
The failure of the POC to show that the basis for the expulsion of the
BAP is one of the grounds provided under the POC Constitution and
By-laws has greatly put into question the validity of the order.
Moreover, the expulsion order resulted in the banning by FIBA not only
of the BAP but the entire country from participating in all their
The POC did not put an effort to conceal that it is not keen in opening
its door for negotiation as a viable option to put an end to the
controversy. Appeal and calls for unity by the BAP landed in deaf ears.
Moreover, the facilitation for the creation and acceptance of PBFI to
replace BAP while still in the process of appealing its case
effectively denied it of due process.
It was likewise made clear that the POC would prefer not to have a
basketball event in the SEA Games than "to return to status quo when
BAP was fully recognized by POC" as suggested by FIBA as the
remaining option for the country to host and play basketball in the SEA
The BAP appears to be sincere in keeping its commitment to support the
agreement forged with all the basketball stakeholders to cooperate with
the working committee created by the POC provided that such cooperation
shall not be a desertion of their full rights to have a hand in forming
a national team as guaranteed to it by the POC Charter.
The Committee recommends as a matter of suggestion to the POC, BAP, and
all concerned parties to:
THE IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVE: PARTICIPATION IN THE SEA GAMES
As early as July 27, 2005, the committee, through its Chairman, has
appealed to the POC to heed the call of FIBA for it to reverse its
expulsion order against the BAP in order to allow our team to compete
internationally, particularly, in the coming SEA Games to be held in
our country. However, the POC seems to have made up its mind about the
issue and from all indications, the expulsion is here to stay, unless,
by some higher authority the said expulsion order is reversed.
The immediate recommendation of this committee stands and that is for
the POC Executive Board, to heed to the recommendation set by FIBA POC
President Jose Cojuangco, "to return to the status quo when BAP was
fully recognized by POC", as the only solution to allow the
country's immediate participation to the Philippine Southeast Asian
Games in November 2005. While it has come to our attention that the SEA
Games Council has decided on November 10, 2005, to drop basketball as
one of the events in the coming SEA Games, we are confident that with
the kind of leadership displayed to us by the present POC officers,
they can make the contrary happen if only they will reconsider the
proposition of FIBA.
It bears to stress that one of the missions of the POC under its
charter is to ensure that the Philippines is represented at the Olympic
games, as well as at the regional, continental and intercontinental
games having the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. Were
it not of utmost importance that the Philippines is represented in
international competitions, the same provision would not have been
expressly stipulated in the POC Constitution and By-laws.
And, in order to avoid similar controversy from recurring, the
committee would like to take a proactive role by strongly recommending
to the POC, BAP, PSC and all concerned parties the following:
ON STRUCTURAL REFORMS FOR FIBA REINSTATEMENT:
There is an immediate need for the formation of a new and unified
association and election of a new set of officers to be participated in
by the following stakeholders: the BAP, the PBA Board of Governors to
be led by PBA Commissioner Emmanuel "Noli" Eala, the PBL
Commissioner Chino Trinidad, the UAAP, NCAA, and all active local and
collegiate leagues outside Metro Manila. Whether or not, the name BAP
will be maintained, if only for sentimental or historical value, or a
new one will be established is left to the discretion of the
It is encouraged that even prior to the holding of discussions for the
said purpose, all stakeholders should agree that no conditions or
restrictions will be set to ensure a smooth and free flow of
interaction to come up with a National Sports Association for
basketball which is truly representative of all the ideals and reforms
sought by all stakeholders. Hence, everyone should come in with an open
mind and ready to accept propositions other than their own especially
when such propositions will work for the benefit of the sport.
There is a need to come up with a new constitution and by-laws for the
new national sports association that will introduce reforms and
eliminate past problems experienced by the BAP. This will include,
among others, the following:
a. Limited tenure of basketball leaders;
b. Representation in the executive board of all basketball
c. Continuous efforts to develop talents from the grassroots level; and
d. Safeguards to avoid the possibility of the exercise of dictatorship
by current officers over various stakeholders.
The ranking officials of the new basketball association should be given
a maximum period of tenure to avoid the overstaying of its officers and
to free the association from inutile heads and officials that only use
their position for their own personal consumption.
Upon ratification by the Philippine Olympic Committee of the creation
of a new basketball association, the same should be immediately
submitted to FIBA Secretary-General Patrick Baumann for approval and
consequent reinstatement of our country's eligibility to participate
and compete in international competitions in time for the March 2006
deadline set by the Central Board of FIBA.
ON INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT PARTICIPATION:
The participation of the best players of our country in prestigious
international meets like the Olympic Games, the FIBA Basketball
Championships, the FIBA-Asia tournament, and the Asian Games should be
One of the reasons that surfaced, which makes the drafting of the best
players for international competitions difficult, is the conflicting
schedule of local tournaments. In order to guarantee the participation
of the best players in international meets, the new basketball body
should coordinate with all the stakeholders in planning the schedules
of their tournaments. As majority, if not all, international meets are
normally scheduled during the 3rd quarter of the year; it is best that
tournaments be scheduled on dates other than this period. The PBA and
PBL have already re-scheduled their tournaments to avoid the conflict.
The UAAP, NCAA and all other collegiate and local leagues all over the
Philippines should follow suit by having their own basketball
tournaments scheduled on the second semester of the school year or
starting November of every year.
ON THE PROGRAM FOR THE NATIONAL TEAM:
In the same way that a long-term program is necessary to ensure our
significant participation in international meets, a matching long-term
program is required to pave the way for a single direction or goal for
our national team. Evidently, all stakeholders should be enjoined to
participate in the drafting of this goal.
The committee finds wisdom in the pursuance of the Memorandum of
Agreement entered into by and between the BAP and PBA particularly on
the commitment of the latter to be in charge of all international
tournaments from the Asian to the World level.
In order not to disrupt the momentum, Vincent "Chot" Reyes,
present national team coach, may be given authority to run the affairs
of the national men's and women's teams. Aside from proving himself
to be a competitive and first class coach by winning the recent Brunei
tournament and placing a strong 3rd in the recent William Jones Cup in
Taiwan, he already has a basketball program, intended for the coming
international competitions scheduled from 2005 to 2008, in place.
Nevertheless, the formation of a new program that is acceptable to the
concerned stakeholders is always a welcome development.
ON ATHLETES' PARTICIPATION:
All basketball players selected to play for the national team should
realize that a great privilege was accorded to them to serve and bring
honor to our country. Our athletes should be proud to represent the
country's flag regardless of their affiliation with different
personalities involved. It is of primordial importance that our
athletes' loyalty is with the country and not with certain
personalities who may have helped them in their respective playing
ON POSSIBLE LEGISLATIVE MEASURE:
For Congress to study the viability of introducing a measure that
would empower the Philippine Sports Commission to validate the
legitimacy and qualifications of every national athlete to represent
the country in international competitions before the same can be
financed by the Commission.
Congress may also study the viability of pushing for the establishment
of a sports academy that will ingrain the fundamental values required
in an athlete. This may also serve as an umbrella unit that will put in
place the much needed direction to the Philippine sports.