MANILA, Philippines – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas only has until today to submit their official 12-man lineup for the men’s team to the 16th Asian Games in November.
Otherwise, the Philippine Olympic Committee said the SBP may risk losing its chance to represent the country in the event set in Guangzhou, China.
“This is the major, major deadline,” said RP team chef-de-mission Jose Romasanta during yesterday’s PSA Forum.
“The SBP has submitted 18 names for accreditation but we need the official 12-man lineup now. The absolute deadline for them to do this is 5 p.m. tomorrow (today),” he said.
The POC has imposed a deadline of Sept. 15 for the 30 NSAs (national sports associations) that will represent the country in Guangzhou even if the deadline set by organizers is still on Sept. 30.
This has prompted Rajko Toroman, the Serbian head coach
of the RP men’s basketball team, to question the POC ultimatum or threat that failure to comply would mean failure to play in the Asian Games.
Toroman said the members of the team will hold a meeting today regarding the final composition of the team, but did not say if they would submit the final lineup before the 5 p.m.deadline.
Moying Martelino of the POC working committee said he has repeatedly informed Smart Gilas team manager Frankie Lim of the deadline.
But the former secretary-general of the Asian Baskteball Confederation said he’s heard nothing from Lim since the latter asked for an extension until Sept. 19.
“Today is the 21st but I haven’t received anything. They should be responsible enough for us not to remind them everyday,” said Martelino, referring to the officials of the RP basketball team.
“They’re not the only ones we’re handling for the Asian Games. There are 30 sports. It’s now up to them. Tomorrow is the deadline. Beyond that we can’t do anything. I’m fed up,” said Martelino.
“If they don’t want to submit their final lineup, there’s nothing we can do. If you don’t want to submit your lineup, what does that mean? It means you’re not interested to join,” he added.
Also in the forum were RP team chef-de-mission Joey Romasanta and Clarito Samson, a member of the working committee.
“The absolute deadline for the basketball team is tomorrow (today),” said Romasanta, adding that as of yesterday, there are 235 names in the list of Filipino athletes going to Guangzhou.
He said the RP women’s basketball team is practically out of the Asian Games because the only way it can qualify is if it wins the SEABA tournament scheduled Oct. 24 to 29 in Manila.
The problem, however, is that the drawing of the groupings for the Asian Games is set Oct. 7, and if the Philippines puts a team there, and eventually pulls out, the POC will face heavy sanctions from the organizers.
“How can you postpone the draw? Besides, it’s not only the basketball groupings that will be drawn on Oct. 7 but all the other team events,” said Martelino.
Abac Cordero, Philippine Star