Officials of the Philippine Basketball Association and the Japan B.League, in a meeting on Friday, 16 September both expressed willingness to take the path of friendship and cooperation with their similar goal of further boosting the sport of basketball in the Philippines and in Japan.
PBA chairman Ricky Vargas and commissioner Willie Marcial led the PBA delegation that paid their JBL counterparts a visit in the latter’s headquarters at the heart of the Japanese capital.
Welcoming the PBA group were JBL chairman Shinji Shimada, international development manager Chihiro Saito and international development officer Ayumi Yamamoto.
With the PBA chairman and PBA commissioner in a brief meeting were Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy, PBA governors Robert Non of San Miguel Beer, Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra, Rod Franco of NLEX, Bill Pamintuan of Meralco, Erick Arejola of NorthPort, Bobby Rosales of Terrafirma, Chito Salud of Converge, Raymond Zorrilla of Phoenix Fuel and Silliman Sy of Blackwater, deputy commissioner Eric Castro, legal counsel Melvin Mendoza, finance director Odessa Encarnacion and social media’s Michelle Flores.
Vargas said they came in friendship and are reaching out for mutual understanding, respect and improved relations for the betterment of both leagues.
“The keyword is cooperation. Recent events whereby our players accepted offers to play in Japan have hurt not only our league but our national team training and development, as well,” said Vargas. “If we continue this way of engaging Philippine players without prior clearance from our league, it may sadly blemish our friendship.”
The PBA chairman mentioned the Philippine government, particularly the Senate, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the FIBA having taken cognizance of the situation.
Among Filipino players now strutting their stuff in the B.League are Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks, Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena and Matthew Wright.