By WAYLON GALVEZ
Newly-elected Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio knows his predecessor is a tough act to follow, but insists he is up to the challenge.
“I think they’re big shoes to fill,” said Panlilio, referring to the post vacated by founding president Manny V. Pangilinan who stepped down after almost nine years at the close of yesterday’s National Congress and elections at the Dusit Thani Manila in Makati City.
“But I think the program is solid and we’ll push on,” Panlilio added. “He (Pangilinan) said he spent a billion (for the SBP in nearly a decade). I’m hoping to get the same support from anybody, and we’d solicit help from the public and the government.”
Guided by four goals Pangilinan earlier bared he’s prefer to have continuity – the Gilas Pilipinas programs, grassroots, the 3-on-3 basketball and the women’s program – Panlilio said his team will be working toward that direction.
He also wanted to improve the coaches and referees programs under his leadership.
“The task is to develop basketball not only internationally but locally; we’ll try to accelerate the programs,” added Panlilio, senior vice president at Meralco and PBA governor representing the Bolts.
Aside from Panlilio, also elected to fresh terms are Sen. Sonny Angara as chairman, former congressman Robbie Puno vice chairman, and Ricky Palou treasurer.
The four are part of the 25-man Board of Trustees joined by PBA chairman Robert Non, vice chairman Erick Arejola and Commissioner Chito Narvasa from the pro sector, Ronualdo Dizer, Paul Supan, Joe Lipa, Javy Nunag and Melanie Florentino from the school sector, Robin Uy from commercial, and Monica Jorge from the women’s basketball.
Panlilio comes from the pro sector, Angara from the youth, Puno from commercial and Palou from school.