Forthcoming fines and suspensions from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB) for allegedly holding practices prematurely have led Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy to consider selling the five-year old franchise.
“Well, number one, I was excited about the reopening of the PBA. It came out in the interview last Monday that I said we will be starting practices with IATF protocol. Actually, nung Sabado, there were two players from my team shooting around. Siguro sa excitement ko, we were announcing that we will be practicing in groups. ‘Yung dalawang nag-shooshoot, nasabihan ko nag-papractice. Eh actually hindi naman siya practice because I had a meeting with my coach. At that time, the two players were just shooting around with a ball boy,” said Sy during an interview with Tiebreaker Times.
“Tapos bigla na ‘kong tinitira na may violations na ‘ko sa IATF at si GAB, si Baham Mitra nakisawsaw. Mayroon ba kayong ebidensya na may violation ako? Then they want to sanction me for a non-issue. Kung ganun lang, eh ‘di bebenta ko na lang ‘yung franchise habang may bibili,” he added.
The Elite, one of the founding members of the PBA D-League, made the jump to the pros in 2014. The squad made it past the eliminations only thrice and has never advanced to the semifinals.
According to Sy, who is looking the sell the team for ₱150 million, disposing of the franchise will mean one less problem for him.
“Eh ‘di nawala na rin ‘yung isang burden ko. The team has been a burden to me the last four to five months. I’m paying full salary and when I suggested to cut the players’ salary to half, ayaw nila. It’s so unfair to my employees na I am imposing no work, no pay to some of my employees while the players are getting paid in full,” explained Sy.
“The players naman are okay in getting paid in half, but it’s the PBA who is not agreeing to my proposal. Eh ako nakikisama, eh ‘di pagbigyan,” he added.