Ronald Mascarinas put the blame on the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for the country’s last place finish in the recently concluded FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria.
The Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 team, which was composed of Moala Tuatuaa, CJ Perez, Joshua Munzon and Leonard Santillan, dropped all four of its matches and ended up dead last in a field of 20.
Mascarinas, owner of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league, expressed his disappointment over the ill-prepared squad’s ‘humiliating’ performance.
“I will not sugarcoat this. I was really disappointed. Sobrang napakalaking kahihiyan ang binigay nila sa ating bayan,” said Mascarinas.
“In terms of effort, hindi naman nagkulang. We saw a promise na dito (sa 3×3), we have a better chance. At the end of the day, sinarili ng SBP and PBA na sila na ang magpapadala doon,” he added.
Mascarinas took offense on the move of the SBP and PBA not to involve his company on the training and preparation of the team despite being the primary sponsor of the 3×3 program the past couple of years.
“I have nothing against that if they have good intentions. The best players in the country are in the PBA but inako nila, they did not involve us as if we did not exist,” stressed Mascarinas.
“Tapos kukunin nila but they don’t show importance. Hindi mahalaga sa kanila. Nagte-training na months before ang 5-on-5 natin for a tournament. May ang OQT natin. May din sila nag-umpisa mag-ensayo. Ano ang aasahan mo? Sobrang nakakalungkot because nagmukha tayong mga tanga doon sa OQT.”
“Bakit hindi nila tinrabaho? The team was doomed from the very start. Paano ka magpapadala sa Olympic Qualifying Tournament ng isang team na hindi man lang nakapaglaro in a single tournament.”
Mascarinas, however, is hoping that the federation has learned its lessons and that drastic changes be made in order to prevent a repeat scenario.
“We are a basketball country. Pinadala natin doon, parang hindi marunong ng 3×3. Pumunta doon para maglaro ng 1-on-1. It’s a big humiliation to our country and I hope the federation, wag niyo na ulitin ‘yan. Sobrang kahihiyan ang ginawa niyo sa bayan natin,” said Mascarinas who admitted that he doesn’t see himself working with the SBP in future tournaments.
“Nakakalungkot na the intention to give pride to our country is sorely missing. Unless they change their ways, wala akong nakikitang sense in working with those kinds of personalities right now.”