MANILA, March 14, 2006
(BULLETIN) A WARM welcome awaits the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) when it bring its act to Hong Kong this coming Sunday.

Thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) based in the former British Colony are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of Purefoods and Talk N Text players who will clash in a lone game which is part of the the Gran Matador Brandy-PBA Philippine Cup.

This will be the second out-of-the-country game by the league in two years.

The game which will be played at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium is made possible by Talk ‘N Text owner Manny V. Pangilinan through his Smart Global, with the support of Magic Sing and Cebu Pacific as official carrier.

Tickets have been in demand since the league confirmed the holding of its first PBA game in Hong Kong.

"This is our way of thanking our thousands of OFW fans in Hong Kong. We’re bringing to them no less than the exciting brand of basketball the PBA has been known for," said Commissioner Noli Eala, who thanked Pangilinan for giving his blessing to be the game’s major sponsor via Smart Global.

"The endeavor wouldn’t have been possible without the help and effort extended by Mr. Pangilinan. We truly thank him for all his support from the bottom of our hearts," added Eala.

In the PBA’s first official overseas game, Talk ‘N Text battled Formula Shell before a jampacked crowd in Jakarta, Indonesia last year during the Fiesta Conference, with the Phone Pals emerging a 97-88 winner.

The overseas game also kicks off the league’s series of road sorties for the season-ending conference.

A total of seven out-of-town matches follow the Hong Kong foray, with Urdaneta, Pangasinan hosting the first provincial game on March 25.

Pilipinas Basketball to replace BAP in FIBA By Nick Giongco (BULLETIN)
(Stakeholders submit new charter to POC for approval)

Pilipinas Basketball will be the new name of the organization that will be presented to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for approval as the country’s basketball stakeholders completed crafting the by-laws and constitution of the new organization yesterday, beating by one day the deadline set by the Philippine Olympic Committee.

A copy of the document will be submitted to the POC today in preparation for its formal presentation to the Executive Committee tomorrow.

"This is the result of two months of hard work," said Philippine Basketball League (PBL) Commissioner Chino Trinidad, one of the stakeholders, yesterday.

According to Trinidad, Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Noli Eala, another stakeholder, did most of the spadework that went into the document.

"He being a lawyer, the group asked him prepare the points for discussion. This was then deliberated, debated and eventually approved," said Trinidad.

He said that while some members of the body had divergent opinions on some points, in the end, all the areas of disagreement were threshed out to everyone’s satisfaction.

He said everyone agreed that the main thrust of the document was to ensure that basketball will flourish no matter who will handle the organization.

He cited the major contributions of Basketball Association of the Philippines President Joey Lina who many thought would not cooperate with the stakeholders and would stand in the way of having a smooth transition from the BAP to the new organization.

"He was very helpful," said Trinidad of Lina. "He contributed a number of suggestions that were eventually incorporated into the constitution."

Trinidad acknowledged that Lina had batted for the retention of the BAP as the representative organization.

"For a while we also agreed that it probably was the right step," he said. "But in the end we realized a lot of problems may arise from having the same old organization. Lina agreed and the suggestion was dropped."

The name Pilipinas Basketball, on the other hand, was suggested by Eala and RP basketball coach Chot Reyes., said Trinidad.

Though not original, there being many countries who use the same style such as USA Basketball, it sounded appropriate and gives the desired effect for a new RP organization, Trinidad said.

Trinidad said "there’s going to be a preliminary discussion tomorrow (today)" with Eala and the other stakeholders presenting the document which they expect to get approval from the POC.

The POC will be represented in the meeting by legal counsel Ding Tanjuatco and swimming association President Mark Joseph.

The PBA and the PBL are two of five stakeholders that were named in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the POC and the FIBA last year. The others were Lina, the NCAA and the UAAP.

The MoU outlined the conditions under which the Philippines would be accepted as member of the international body after its suspension. One of the conditions was to come up with a new organization with a set of by-laws and a constitution.

The MOU was signed by FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann and the POC .

The POC had given the stakeholders until tomorrow to submit a new set of constitution and by-laws as the FIBA had imposed a deadline of March 31 for it to some up with a new group.

"This is not really fool-proof as in the case with all by-laws but this is the best that we can come up to considering that this has the approval of all the stakeholders," said Trinidad.

The FIBA is holding a World Congress this August while staging the world championships in Saitama, Japan, and it is around this time that the Philippines might be given back its membership in the governing body following its suspension last year.

The FIBA stripped the Philippines of its membership when the BAP was expelled from the POC.

The Philippines is hoping to regain its membership in the FIBA in August since the country is eyeing a participation in the 15th Asian Games in December in Qatar.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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