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Barrios: All set for SBP board election

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The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has set its election on Aug. 8 for the 25-man Board of Trustees, from where the next president of the local basketball federation will be chosen.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said yesterday that 13 of the current members of the board are no longer eligible to run for re-election, including current president Manny V. Pangilinan, chairman of Smart and PLDT.

The remaining officers, or the 12 other members of the board, can seek another four-year term under the SBP Constitutions and By-Laws that was crafted in 2007 when the SBP was formed.

Under the SBP charter, Barrios said an elected officer is only allowed to serve for two four-year terms. While there are calls for Pangilinan to continued heading the SBP by amending the rules, Barrios said the telecommunications mogul declined.

“Some trustees want to amend the constitution for him to seek another four-year term, but Mr. Pangilinan doesn’t want to violate the same rules he helped craft when the SBP was formed,” said Barrios.

Current SBP vice president Al Panlilio – among the 12 officials who can run for reelection or even higher positions – is being groomed to take Pangilinan’s place. Panlilio was CEO of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) during the just-concluded FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The former PBA commissioner said that Pangilinan is committed to help the SBP even if he’s no longer president since the board created a position for Pangilinan as Chairman Emeritus.

“Mr. Pangilinan is committed to continue helping the SBP; hindi tatalikuran ang pagtulong sa basketball. As the Chairman Emeritus, he can still attend the meeting of the SBP,” said Barrios.

The new position does not have voting rights, said Barrios, baring the sports patron refused to award himself such privileges.

The election comes a month after the SBP led the country’s successful hosting of the FIBA Olympic qualifier last week at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

France, the No. 5 ranked team in the world, won the Manila leg of the OQT by beating Canada in the finals (83-74) last Sunday to earn a spot in next month’s 31st Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pangilinan’s term, together with the rest of the board members, has all been extended upon the approval of the trustees until after the OQT. He offered to step down last October but was urged to stay on to lead the SBP with the hosting of the said tournament.

As for the appointed officials, like Barrios who has been the executive director the past five years, their tenure is co-terminus with the incumbent president.

“Kapag meron na tayong new president, parang sa government yan e, you give the new president a free hand to appoint his people. It’s up to him, to form his team or his management group, and we respect that,” said Barrios.