<
>

Blackwater's Dioceldo Sy to meet with PBA, GAB to address issues

Outspoken Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy looks to clear the air with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and Games and Amusement Board chairman Abraham Mitra as he is setting up separate "personal meetings" with the two officials soon.

"It's a quiet meeting to patch things up," Sy told ESPN5 in a brief message.

Sy said his schedule with Marcial is tentatively set next Tuesday at the PBA's office in Libis, Quezon City.

The long-time sportsman-businessman revealed that Mitra has also agreed to a personal meeting, though a schedule has yet to be determined.

On Wednesday evening, Sy startled PBA fans when he announced that he's open to "selling the team to an interested buyer."

His statement came a day after Marcial hinted of possible sanction on Blackwater for practicing ahead of the PBA's official resumption of practices. The league commissioner eventually slapped a hefty P100,000 fine on Blackwater Thursday while ordering the Elite players to undergo swab testing and quarantine for seven days once they test negative and show no symptoms.

Mitra also sent a show-cause order to Sy asking him to explain why the team should not be punished for the unauthorized practice.

Sy had mentioned during a guesting on TV5's Sports Page Monday that he had visited the Elite's practice last Saturday.

Sy said he intends to let his team play should he fail to strike a deal with an interested buyer, indicating he is still entertaining the idea of selling his PBA franchise. He added that Blackwater is a "good team" that's ready to compete once the PBA season resumes.

"We will play with or without (a) buyer," shared Sy, whose company Ever Bilena has been a staunch supporter of the National University Lady Bulldogs and the Philippine women's team for years already.

Nash Racela has been tasked to lead Blackwater this year. But he has yet to make his coaching debut with the Elite following the PBA's decision to postpone the 2020 season last March.