JANUARY 8, 2007
(STAR) The Basketball Association of the Philippines has committed an unforgivable flagrant foul.

It hit and tried to cripple its own president who was well on his way to scoring a winning basket for Philippine basketball.

This violation should draw a prompt and proper reaction from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

Banned by the Philippine Olympic Committee for its many sins against RP basketball, the BAP fired its president, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who was in the process of finalizing an agreement with major basketball stakeholders.

That unity should effectively result in the renewal of Philippine basketball.

Unfortunately, the BAP could not see the soundness of Estrada’s decision.

He was accused of acting on his own.

But what is a good leader for if he could not honestly decide for his association and make vital moves for the common good?

By firing Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, the BAP has unwittingly fired at itself.

It has unwittingly written its own death sentence.

There’s no way for the FIBA but to take proper action by effectively encouraging the formation of a new, responsible body that will oversee the affairs of Philippine basketball.

It could next lift its suspension on RP basketball.

The FIBA need not be told that the BAP, after it has pushed RP basketball to the lowest level, has long surpassed its patented incompetence and wickedness.

The FIBA should mete out the proper penalties and help Sen. Estrada score the winner for Philippine basketball.

Or is the FIBA waiting for an urgent warning from the International Olympic Committee that the BAP and its discredited, degenerate sector have no business being part of the Olympic movement?

Realtors break slump, reach playoff By Nelson Beltran The Philippine Star 01/08/2007

Veterans Kenneth Duremdes and Dennis Espino bucked their injuries and the whole Sta. Lucia squad fought with a sense of urgency, fashioning out a 122-75 massacre of Coca-Cola to clinch another playoff crack at the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Realtors rose from a deep slumber and hacked out the emphatic victory that eventually eased Tigers and the Alaska Milk Aces out of further contention in the All-Filipino tourney.

Air21, however, still stands in Sta. Lucia’s way to the next round.

Gary David erupted for a game-high 32 points while Egay Billones came through with 16 — all in the second half — as the Express whipped the Aces, 112-106, to stay in the running for a playoff incentive in the wildcard round.

The Express go for the playoff-clincher against the Tigers at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Badly beaten by the Express Wednesday and having lost seven of their last eight games, the Realtors poured all their frustrations on the Tigers, avenging the sorry loss in their Dec. 22 match.

The Tigers denied the Realtors early passage into the quarterfinals in winning that particular contest.

The Realtors came out strong with their back to the wall and went on to dominate the Tigers all night long.

So dominant were the Realtors they outscored the Tigers in all quarters and led by as many as 51 points in the second half.

"We played great. Kung anong malas namin against Air21, ganon naman kami kaswerte tonight," said coach Alfrancis Chua after their 47-point triumph — the fifth largest winning margin in league history.

"We could get outright playoff or even outright entry into the quarters with this win. But to me, what’s important is simply to get this win to get back our fighting form. I think that was the missing link (in our slump)," Chua added.

Sta. Lucia could have gained outright passage into the quarters versus Red Bull had Alaska defeated Coca-Cola.

The Realtors rediscovered their character, form and rhythm with Duremdes, Espino, Kelly Williams and Mark Isip enduring various illnesses.

Curiously, Duremdes, despite a sore shin, and Williams, nursing a back injury, combined for 40 points to pace the Realtors.

The Realtors shot well from all angles, converting 55.6 percent of their three-point shots with Williams, Duremdes, Paolo Mendoza, Ricky Calimag and Alex Cabagnot firing 15 three-pointers together.

The Tigers, on the other hand, fired blanks (0-of-13) from beyond the arc and were also dominated in the battle off the boards, 39-58.

Worse, they lost top rebounder Ali Peek early after sustaining a deep eye-brow cut in the midway through the fourth quarter. Joseph Yeo suffered the same fate moments later.

The Tigers, who close out their Philippine Cup stint versus the Express Wednesday, would finish ninth place, just ahead of newcomer Welcoat.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved