THAILAND WANTS  RP  IN  CAGE  TILT

MANILA, September 29, 2005 
(MALAYA) WINNING the basketball gold in the Southeast Asian Games would be half baked without the highly-touted RP menís team around.

This was the view aired by Maj. Gen Charouck Arirachakaran, vice president and secretary-general of Thailandís National Olympic Committee, and the reason why five of the 11-member countries of the Asean are now contemplating on appealing the suspension meted out on the country by the International Basketball Federation.

"My heart is always for the Filipinos. I have many old friends here and I promised to back them up on their appeal to lift the suspension. Basketball would be less-exciting without the Philippine team," Arirachakaran told mediamen.

Along with Thailand, Arirachakaran, the highest foreign sports czar to visit the country prior to the Nov.27-Dec. 5 Games, said perennial basketball contenders Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore have already expressed their intentions to help the country in its efforts to have the FIBA ban on the Philippines lifted.

"You have the best players in the region, thereís no doubt about it. But leadership dispute has affected the basketball system here. Thereís still hope, and Thailand is ready to help so the Filipinos could play in the SEA Games," said Arirachakaran, also the president of Thailandís sepak takraw association.

Except in 1989 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Philippines has won all menís basketball gold since it started competing in the games in 1977.

Arirachakaran said the Thai basketball team is currently undergoing intensive training and even had overseas stints as part of its preparations for the Nov. 27 to Dec. 5 meet.

"Without the Filipinos in the title match, a championship is useless," he said.

Philippine Olympic Committee president and Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee president and chief executive officer Jose Cojuangco Jr. left for Geneva, Switzerland, last Tuesday to personally air the side of the POC and Philippine Basketball Federation on the controversy in his hope to get a favorable response from the FIBA.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2005  by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE