PBA INVITATIONAL: COUP OR NO COUP THE SHOW MUST GO ON

Astrodome, July 28, 2003 (Star)  The show must go on.

Even as the nation was in state of rebellion, the Samsung PBA Invitational Cup came off the wraps at the Astrodome last night.

"The tournament opened as scheduled even in the midst of developments happening in and around the Makati business district. We decided to continue with the opening precisely to lend a helping hand to our government to show a semblance of normalcy to the situation in the country," PBA commissioner Noli Eala told The STAR.

"We monitored the situation and while we felt that there were serious developments happening we also felt that we owed it to our fans and to our foreign teams who arrived to play today. We hope that the people appreciate our gesture of going on with the PBA games," he added.

As San Miguel Beer and the Cebuana Lhuillier RP team played in the tournament opener, the mutineers remained holed up at the Oakland Condominium Buildings in Makati, only a few kilometers from the Pasay sports venue.

The mutiny, no question, affected the tournament inaugurals with only a handful of fans going to the Astrodome. And practically everybody who graced the ceremonies was in somber mood.

Itís a pity because the league prepared a brief but good opening show highlighted by a dance number depicting rich Filipino cultures.

The foreign guests teams hardly showed uneasiness or fear on whatís happening in the nearby Makati. Curiously, the Fil-Americans in the PBA were the ones who feared for their safety, and that they even had someone calling in to ask if the games would push through.

Coordinators Jack Rodriguez for Novi Sad-Yugoslavia, Park Hyun Mo for Yonsei University and Magic Fang for the Jilin Qi Tigers said their teams arenít bothered of the problem and are raring to play.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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