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GAB accepts Blackwater owner's apology for unauthorized practice

Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy apologized to Games and Amusement Board chairman Abraham Mitra in a meeting on Monday, just days after he was fined P100,000 by the PBA for holding a practice before the league's official resumption of practices.

"Sabi ko (kay Mitra), I hope he accepts my apology wholeheartedly. If you don't mind, nag-outburst ako of emotions. uminit yung ulo ko at na-sanction ako ng PBA," Sy told ESPN5.com. "Eh pati kayo sumawsaw, but I'm very sorry because what I did was uncalled for. I hope you understand kasi para nga akong Mayon Volcano that day na putok ng putok."

Mitra, who was accompanied by consultant Oliver Gan and commissioner Edward Trinidad, said they formally accepted the apology, but he stressed that the GAB board will still assess the situation.

"Commissioner Edward Trinidad and I have met with Mr. Sy. We have accepted their apology but the Board needs to study further their reply to our letter if we will sanction or fine them as Commissioner Mar Masanguid is still in Davao," Mitra said.

"They promised to adhere to all the rules and safety standards as well as the directives of the IATF and GAB. We have also asked them to wait for the IATF resolution and GAB-PSC-DOH Joint Administrative Order before any practice so as not to jeopardize our efforts to resume leagues practice."

Sy, the president and chief executive officer of Ever Bilena, is relieved he was able to clear the air after his meeting with Mitra. He also clarified that the video footage showing the Elite's practice in last week's edition of TV5's Sports Page was old footage.

"Actually ang unang tanong niya sa akin eh, 'Ano yung nakita naming ensayo sa TV5?' So ang sabi ko, 'Old video yun ng ensayo namin. Hindi naman yun video for that day, wala namang video nung araw na yun,'" Sy shared. "Hindi ko rin alam (about the video) kasi nasa Zoom ako (during the interview). Ngayon ko lang nakita yun. TV5 showed an old video of the practice."

Sy also admitted showing up during a workout of some of his players over a week ago. He explained that when he arrived at the team's practice facility at Aero Center Basketball court at Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, he saw two of his players there.

"I just saw James Sena and Jon Gabriel there and then I went up to talk with coach Nash Racela because we discussed paano ba kami magpa-practice, like breaking the team to two for two hours, with four players per hour," he shared. "Pero wala pang actual practice. We even observed health protocols."

Sy is expected to meet with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial on Tuesday.