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‘Time to move on’—MVP

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By Erel Cabatbat

Manny V. Pangilinan, president emiritus of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and number patron of Philippine Basketball, is urging everyone to move on after FIBA has issued its decision on the ugly brawl that marred the Gilas Pilipinas and Australia game last July 2 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Pangilinan says now is the time to plan the country’s participation in future FIBA games and in the Asian Games.

“I, as do all us, deeply regret the incident, and apologize for our conduct in it,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

He also emphasized the need to raise the country’s hosting standards “to ensure that “appropriate environment is established for games and that we keep our traditional Filipino hospitality untarnished.”

Pangilinan adds the association will review the decision thoroughly and carefully to determine whether it will appeal or not the sanctions and fines the world governing body in basketball imposed on 10 Gilas players, two coaches and to SBP itself.

Aside from one to six game suspensions slapped on players and two coaches, SBP was also fined 250,000 Swiss francs or more than P13M due to the brawl.

The country will also have to conduct two of its next home games in the FIBA World Cup Asia qualifiers behind closed doors. A ban on two additional home games will also be imposed against the country within in a three-year probationary period.