AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PHILIPPINE BASKETBALL COMMUNITY
The Board of Trustees of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc. (SBP) wishes to express their gratitude to all of you who have given their support and contributed to the success of the numerous programs which the SBP has put in place to develop Philippine basketball. In the two (2) years since its inception, the SBP's influence, reach and leadership in Philippine basketball have been significant — particularly when viewed from the context of the four (4) decades of existence of its predecessor association, the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP).
1. Implemented the comprehensive National Referees Development Program (NRDP) which has already benefited more than four hundred (400) arbiters in its first year.
2. Regularly sends Filipino referees to International Referees' Clinics so that there are now eleven (11) Filipino FIBA-licensed International Referees compared with only four (4) when the SBP took over from the BAP, one of whom will officiate in the forthcoming world championships Jr. Men's in New Zealand.
3. Organized and fully-subsidized the series of elite referees' clinics conducted by Mr. Alan Richardson, FIBA International Instructor and Euroleague Supervisor for Referees.
4. Created an Elite Referees Pool whose members are now being used by SBP member leagues.
The SBP has implemented the National Coaches Accreditation and Licensing Program (NCALP) which already completed its first task of gathering and identifying over eight hundred (800) coaches
nationwide. Numerous coaching clinics are now being held to standardize our coaching techniques in line with our National Team Program.
Youth and Grassroots Programs
1. Stages various National Championships for different age groups and gender categories including the Philippine Champion's League where over two hundred (200) universities and colleges participated and the forthcoming National Junior Championships for boys and girls.
2. Founded the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC), the elite basketball school for 18 and under boys and girls.
3. Created the SBP 33, inspired by FIBA's 3-on-3 basketball program, to form competitive teams for the Asian Indoor Games, Asian Beach Games, Asian Youth Games and the Youth Olympics.
The SBP maintains a robust and aggressive national team program for all age and gender categories. All National Teams are well-funded through the support of SBP sponsors and donors.
1. The SBP has a long-term program for our young Men's National Team with the objective of qualifying for the London Olympics in 2012, and improving our currently low standing in the FIBA world rankings resulting from long years of neglect. To help realize these goals, a Serbian coach, Mr. Rajko Toroman, has been engaged and a comprehensive training program and calendar has been put together which includes so far, tournaments and training camps in Serbia, the United States, Indonesia and Japan.
2. The Philippine National Teams have achieved significant results in the last year by virtue of the SBP programs now in place:
a) 7th place, FIBA Asia Championships for Junior Men in 2008 d) Champion, 1 st China Asean-CBO International Tournament in 2008
b) 2nd place, 1 st Asian Beach Games in Bali 2008 e) 5th place, FIBA Asia Champion's Cup 2009
c) 2nd place, Division II, FIBA Asia Championships for Junior Women in 2008 f) Champion, SEABA 2009 - Qualifier for FIBA Asia Men's Championships in Tianjin, China
3. The SBP National Team Competition's calendar for 2009 has never been more vibrant with our teams qualifying for the FIBA Asia Championship for Women (16 and under), the FIBA Asia Championships for Junior Men and Women, the FIBA Asia Championships for Men, the Asian Youth Games and the Asian Indoor Games (Vietnam).
To date, five (5) new active members have been added to the roster of SBP membership bringing the total number to twenty four (24). Other applications are now being reviewed by the Nomination and Membership Committee for active status. In addition, ten (10) new associate members have been added with provision for future consideration as regular active members. Total membership (active and associate) now stands at forty (40).
WHY DO THE ATTACKS ON THE SBP CONTINUE?
Despite these achievements, it saddens us to note that there are still those who continue to question the legitimacy of the SBP and its current leadership. These individuals, who are still aligned with the BAP, have chosen to disregard the “Tokyo Communiqué” dated 28th August 2006, which led to the formation of the SBP as the country's sole and unified governing body for basketball. They also allege that the SBP has failed to comply with the subsequent “Bangkok Agreement” dated 4th February 2007, which elaborated further the terms of the Tokyo Communiqué. It is apparent that the BAP continues to raise issues and complaints against SBP and its present leadership to the detriment of achieving unity in Philippine Basketball. It is also clearer now that BAP's interpretation of unity means unity on its own terms.
Last May 28, 2009, the SBP received a letter from Mr. Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General, advising the SBP of the creation of a “Special Commission for the Philippines”. The formation of this Special Commission was precipitated by “various correspondences and continuous complaints addressed to the FIBA Secretariat over the past months on the matter related to the institutional legitimacy of the Philippine Basketball Federation and its current leadership.”
WHAT IS THE SBP’S POSITION?
The SBP has decided that it will not submit to the jurisdiction of this Special Commission for the following reasons:
1. Mr. Baumann in his letter dated last year (May 13, 2008) and sent to the SBP clearly and categorically stated that:
(i) FIBA is fully supporting the SBP and its President Manuel V Pangilinan and its Board of Trustees;
(ii) FIBA will disregard any communication coming from the former BAP “as it has no rights with FIBA”; and
(iii) FIBA is dismissing Mr. Graham Lim with immediate effect from his membership in the FIBA Youth Commission, citing his “continuous actions to disrupt the proper functioning of the SBP as “unacceptable”.
2. The Philippine Court of Appeals has already affirmed SBP's compliance with the Bangkok Agreement and the Tokyo Communiqué. The Court's decision confirmed the membership validation process undertaken by the SBP and also sustained the validity of the June 12, 2008 SBP National Congress and the regular election of SBP's trustees and officers held at that meeting.
3. The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) have both recognized the SBP and have effectively and correctly accorded its leadership with full rights as the lawful governing body of basketball in the Philippines.
4. The basis on which the Special Commission was formed rests on complaints and allegations, as mentioned in the Baumann letter of May 28, 2009, made by the BAP that are unverified and biased. That is why the Baumann letter is simply incomprehensible - giving apparent credence to “various correspondences and continuous complaints” without verifying their veracity.
Instead of removing the squeaky and noisy wheels - as Baumann indicated he would in his letter last year to SBP - he has now lubricated them with oil.
We should emphasize that it was the BAP which initiated the judicial action challenging the legitimacy of the June 12, 2008 SBP National Congress and elections. We regard this legal step by the BAP to be significant because it clearly demonstrates its intention and preference to have the matter decided by our Philippine judicial system - and not by any other party, tribunal or commission — foreign or local. Having lost in a forum that they themselves chose, BAP is now shopping for another forum that may be sympathetic to it.
Accordingly, the SBP has to put on record and placed FIBA on notice that it shall not participate in any proceedings which this Special Commission may undertake, unless and until it has become unequivocally clear to SBP what its mandate, jurisdiction and scope of authority really are. More importantly, the BAP legal challenge, after having been rejected by our Court of Appeals, has been elevated by it to our Supreme Court, where it is now under consideration. In that light, the SBP has firmly taken the position that whilst this domestic issue is under judicial review, it should not submit itself to any other legal jurisdiction until the matter has been finally resolved by our legal system. Let Philippine law take its course; let us respect our Courts and not incur their contempt otherwise.
We the members of the SBP call upon all legitimate stakeholders of Philippine Basketball to raise their individual and collective voices and take a unified stand condemning the disruptive actions of the BAP, and protest FIBA's unwarranted intrusion into what must be a purely domestic matter requiring domestic resolution.
Make yourself be heard by sending your comments through sbp.com.ph.
Mabuhay ang Philippine Basketball!
Gov. Oscar V. Moreno
Chairman of the Board
Manuel V. Pangilinan
Jose Emmanuel M. Eala
Philippine Basketball Association
Philippine Basketball League
University Athletic Association of the Philippines
Fr. Mateo de Jesus OSB
National College Athletic Association
Reynaldo D. Gamboa
Philippine Collegiate Champions League
Pinoy Basketbol Inc.
Daniel Danilo V. Soria
Baguio Benguet Educational Athletic League
Fr. Paul M. De Vera
National College Athletic Association – South
Robert L. Uy
Iloilo Basketball League
Bernardo Gabriel I. Atienza
Cagayan de Oro Basketball Association
Pedro C. Alfaro
El Federacion Basketbolista de Zamboanga
Gerardo P. Sabal III
Cagayan de Oro School Athletic Association
Ernesto Jay G. Adalem
National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and University
Raul D. Alcoseba
Visayas Amateur Athletic Association
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Posting this one for the sake of Philippine basketball. Down with BAP!