PBA says it wasn't informed of SBP decision

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) on Friday said it was not informed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) before the governing body announced its decision to withdraw the national team from the 2018 Asian Games.

Members of the the PBA's board of governors said they found out about SBP's decision through social media the morning after the official statement was released.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and several members of the PBA's board of governors -- Alfrancis Chua (Ginebra), Robert Non (San Miguel), Rene Pardo (Magnolia), Atty. Raymond Zorrilla (Phoenix), Erick Arejola (GlobalPort), Dickie Bachmann (Alaska), and Bobby Rosales (Columbian) -- said the SBP did not consult them before making its decision.

"When we left the board meeting yesterday, I knew we would be supporting the Asian Games," Bachmann said. "I just found out early this morning through social media that we backed out. I had no talk, no knowledge of why we backed out. It's only when I talked to Willie Marcial that I heard SBP backed out."

"When it comes to decisions in the PBA and SBP and putting up a team, we're consulted," he added. "The best thing SBP could have done last night before making a decision was to consult the Commissioner and consult the PBA board, which they did not."

Marcial also revealed that the league, the SBP and Gilas officials had earlier discussions on how the PBA could adjust its calendar to accommodate international tournaments. The decision then was to prioritize the World Cup Asian Qualifiers, so Marcial worked the PBA schedule around those FIBA windows.

But he added that all changed and things became complicated when the idea to send a team to the Asian Games came about. Had the decision to field an Asian Games team came earlier, Marcial said they would have made proper adjustments to the PBA calendar.

"We would have postponed the games, pushing it back to November," Marcial said. "We can't accommodate every event because that would mean one and a half months of the PBA stopping games."

They also asked Filipino basketball fans to not blame the PBA for the sudden withdrawal of the team.

However, they collectively reiterated they will continue to support SBP and its programs.

Marcial also said that up to now the Rain or Shine management remains willing to send its team to the Asiad.

"If they want to send a team tomorrow, we're OK with it," he said. "They will have the all out support of Rain or Shine and the PBA. "