It’s all about Japanese yen



The Manila Times


IF I were in their shoes, I’d do the same thing. Everyone, especially those with families, have no choice but to play for pay. This is the problem of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the East Asia Super League (EASL) today. The pandemic, not allowing the PBA to open for almost two years, opened the floodgates to think of their future and they saw none here. We closed down while the Japanese pro league entertained their inactive and bored following and saw another window for Filipino basketball hungry fans to watch their superstars in action from faraway shores. While in contrast, we really had nothing to offer then. While the NBA continued with their money-making league, as well as the USA NCAA, we were still in the dark while this column kept blowing our horn to resume the action, but the IATF kept their eyes and ears closed pretending to be as Popish as Caesar’s wife in the guise of protecting our sports loving people in what later on turned out to be one of the worst in responding to the Covid crisis, as per the World Health Organization. Leaving the players no choice but to think of greener pastures, not only to keep in shape for two years of limbo, but most of all, for the Japanese yen of it. The PBA has no one to blame. Money talks in almost whatever sport or anywhere these days. Especially if I was single and thinking of my future, where else would I go? Wanna stop the exodus? Tell the EASL to allow only homegrown players to play. No imports, which I doubt. Unless the PBA franchisees offer a higher note, be it in yen, peso, won, or dollar, stop blaming the hoopsters. Okay, guys? Don’t you get tired of losing? Filipinos hate losing. So what gives with Gilas? Who’s brainchild is this? Grit, determination, or heart alone doesn’t win games nor fans. And worse, when you field the UAAP/NCAA selection against the giants of New Zealand, et al. Experience? They will have their own time. By always losing doesn’t gain any ground at all, especially for the rookies. Future? Why? Do other countries not develop their own “futures?” Everyone else does, but not in the FIBA Asia qualifying rounds. Maybe in the FIBA Juniors, yes, but not in the big league. What do you expect to achieve? No one wants to watch TV and see these new kids on the block being fed to the slaughterhouse. Please don’t give us that crap about the PBA calendar or the clubs not allowing their players to join. Why? Is the PBA bigger than our national commitments? Or lack of time to train? This column always salutes the patriotism of our basketball benefactor MVP. Inspite of these losses, he keeps the SBP afloat with financial losses left and right. Wonder who’s gaining. Once we met, he asked me about this matter and as usual, I predicted the humiliation with the Kiwis. That’s what friends are for. I hate MVP disheartened every time we lose. Knowing him, maybe he doesn’t watch the games anymore knowing how busy he is. And only destroys his day. After the SEA Games debacle, comes the next series of losses to South Korea and New Zealand. Reason why our dailies downgrade these results. Losses are normal these days. Our only consolation is India, which doesn’t appreciate this exciting game at all.