FIBA DENIED POC REQUEST RE  INCLUSION OF BASKETBALL IN  SEA GAMES
 

MANILA, October 29, 2005 
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Once again, and perhaps with finality, the International Basketball Federation or FIBA has denied the request of the Philippine Olympic Committee regarding the inclusion of basketball in next month’s SEA Games.

The POC is now leaning on the members of the SEA Games Federation, headed no less by POC president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, to continue with the staging of men’s and women’s basketball in the SEAG despite the FIBA rejection of the POC appeal.

The biennial meet is set Nov. 27 to Dec. 5 in Manila and three other satellite venues.

Robert Aventajado, POC chairman, said the FIBA’s decision does not prevent the Philippines, which is barred from competing in any FIBA-sanctioned tournaments, from seeking other ways to include basketball in the SEA Games.

"The SEA Games not being a qualifying tournament for any of the FIBA-sanctioned international championships, particularly the Asian, World and Olympic events, may not require the concurrence of FIBA," said Aventajado.

"We will seek the opinion of SEA Games Federation Council within the next few days," he said.

The POC received an e-mail message from FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann the other day with the world’s governing body in basketball denying the former’s request.

"It pains us much that the outcome so far can only be negative," said Aventajado.

The Philippines was suspended by FIBA due to a bitter dispute or tug-o-war between the FIBA-backed Basketball Association of the Philippines and the POC-backed Philippine Basketball Federation, Inc.

The POC has repeatedly requested FIBA to allow the Philippines to hold basketball competitions in the SEA Games but has gotten the same answer: form a new, unified association on or before March next year and we’ll lift the suspension.

The POC has formed a task force that will manage the basketball tournaments at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, if and when the 10 other members of the SEAG Federation say yes to the POC request.

Aventajado himself will head the task force with POC spokesman Joey Romasanta, POC secretary general Steven Hontiveros, athletics chief Go Teng Kok, PBF president Moying Martelino and wushu president Julian Camacho as members.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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