Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (Basketball Group of the Philippines) or the SBP is the national sport association for basketball in the Philippines, formed from the merging of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and Pilipinas Basketball (PB).
It was formed in order to fix a long running feud in Philippine basketball that resulted in FIBA suspending the country from participating in FIBA-sanctioned events. Both groups signed a joint communique during the FIBA Congress in Saitama, Saitama|Saitama, Japan in September 2006.
Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and owner of the PBA's Talk N' Text Phone Pals was named as the first president of the organization on February 5, 2007.
In 2005, the BAP-formed Cebuana-Lhuillier Philippine National Team, made up of little-known amateur players, lost to the Parañaque Jets, owned by city Vice Mayor and comedian Anjo Yllana in the 2005 National Basketball Conference preseason tournament. The Jets were bannered by actors and showbiz personalities, while the BAP team was supposed to have been sent to represent the country in an international tournament. This led to calls from Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose "Peping" Cojuangco to reform the BAP's programs and send a national team made up of professional players from the Philippine Basketball Association.
However, disagreements became bitter in mid-2005 as both groups wanted to have their own teams represent the country to the SEABA Men's Basketball tournament in Malaysia. The BAP also replaced Quintellano "Tiny" Literal with former Philippine senator and Laguna governor Joey Lina as President of the basketball body. The POC intended to reform the BAP's basketball program, but the BAP resisted, and warned the POC to stay out of the situation. As the dispute continued, other National Sports Associations of the POC convened, and expelled the association as the National Sport Association for basketball in the country and created the Philippine Basketball Federation, Inc. as the new basketball governing body. The FIBA, meanwhile, continued to recognize only the BAP and instructed its leaders to sort out the issue.
In July 2005, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) suspended the Philippines from all FIBA-sanctioned tournaments due to disagreements between the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and the Philippine Olympic Committee.
In late-2005, the POC received a memorandum that would pave way for the country's major stakeholders the PBA, PBL, UAAP and NCAA and Joey Lina, then-BAP President to represent the BAP to form another new association, which materialized in March 2006, and was was eventually known as Pilipinas Basketball.
However, the talks stalled when Lina backed out from the formation of the group. Pilipinas Basketball tried its luck to gain FIBA recognition from FIBA Secretary-General Patrick Baumann but was denied, urging them to "keep the course".
For the next five months, talks for a resolution remained silent.
The Joint Communique
During the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Saitama, Japan, the FIBA Congress was also held in conjunction with the event. Both representatives from the BAP and Pilipinas Basketball separately to meet with FIBA officials to gain recognition.
After talks with both groups, FIBA through Baumann and other representatives invited both parties to sit down and negotiate a solution. After lengthy talks and reportedly some shouting matches, both groups decided to instead form a new basketball body with both members of the BAP and PB joining forces.
The joint communique said that both parties have promised to fix the problem within a month with a three-man panel made up of then-BAP head Lina and Pilipinas Basketball President Bernie Atienza and a neutral person to oversee the formation.
The neutral person was supposed to have been former PBA commissioner Ricky Salud. Salud, who formed the by-laws of the PBA refused the offer due to his health. Eventually Lina and Atienza asked PLDT chairman Manny Pangilinan to be the third person.
Eventually the by-laws were formed and a congress was due to be held in November for the election of officers.
The panel agreed to name as the new organization as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Lina's resignation, Jinggoy named new BAP head
In a twist of events, Lina resigned as BAP President stalling the formation of the association. It was reported that several members of the BAP were not willing to cooperate with the limited power sharing with Pilipinas Basketball.
Eventually, BAP hired Philippine senator Jinggoy Estrada, son of former Philippine President Joseph Estrada, as its president. One of Estrada's first moves was to try and convince the POC to reinstate the BAP and also asked the Philippine Sports Commission to open the padlocked BAP office. However, those requests were denied, but Estrada was given explanation by POC President Jose Cojuangco about the reasons for the BAP expulsion.
Agreement in Hong Kong
Two days before Christmas, Estrada and Pangilinan agreed on a power sharing that could result in the end of the FIBA suspension. Under the agreement, Estrada will be named as the SBP Chairman while Pangilinan will be named SBP President. Both also agreed on Ricky Vargas, the Talk N' Text Phone Pals Governor and Pangilinan's business aide and Lito Alvarez, the Air21 Express Governor and one of the key figures in the BAP, to be given positions in the association.
The move was lauded by many within the basketball community and gave hope for the possible return of the Philippines in international competitions.
BAP fires Estrada
In early-January 2007, the BAP rejected the agreement between Pangilinan and Estrada, citing "Estrada's cooperating with Pilipinas Basketball move without consultation from the BAP". On January 6, 2007, the BAP released a press statement announcing the firing of Estrada as its BAP President. The position was declared vacant with Christian Tan named as interim President.
The move was blasted by PBA Commissioner Noli Eala and PBL Commissioner Chino Trinidad. Senator Estrada, however, remained with the SBP to continue to formation of the association and even went to Geneva along with a group led by Pangilinan and Eala to talk with FIBA Secretary-General Patrick Baumann about the SBP's progress. Baumann responded by saying that the suspension will be lifted once a new organization is formed through a Basketball Unity Congress.
The BAP then hired track-and-field president Go Teng Kok as their BAP President. Rumors also surfaced that the BAP had intended to boycott the Unity Congress and to issue a TRO but the rumors where denied by the 70-year organization.
A week before the unity congress, both BAP and PB separately went to Bangkok for talks with Baumann and FIBA-Asia representatives. After talks between leaders of both the BAP and the PB, the two groups agreed to settle differences and moved ahead with the congress.
On February 5, 2007, the Unity Congress was held formally electing Pangilinan as its president. The event was graced by members of the BAP, PB, the Philippine Olympic Committee, and a host of observers that included Baumann, who issued a statement saying the suspension has been lifted pending approval by the POC as its NSA for basketball.
Board of Trustees
Each member of the Board represents a certain sector of Philippine basketball.
- Manny Pangilinan
- Raul "Yayoy" Alcoseba
- Atty. Bonifacio Alentajan
- Pedro Alfaro Jr.
- Rey Baula
- Elmer Cabahug
- Fr. Paul de Vera
- Tony Fabico
- Graham Lim
- Danny Soria
- Joey Lina
- Ely Capacio
- Tony Chua
- Atty. Noli Eala
- Ricky Vargas
- Bernie Atienza
- Jose Capistrano
- Fritz Gaston
- Christian Tan
- Wilson Young
- Lito Alvarez
- Michel Lhuillier
- Chino Trinidad
- Tisha Abundo
- Nic Jorge
- Chairman: Cong. Luis Villafuerte
- Vice Chairman: Ricky Vargas
- President: Manny Pangilinan
- Corporate Secretary: Atty. Marievic Añonuevo
- Treasurer: Christian Tan
- Legal Counsel: Atty. Bonifacio Alentajan
- Special Adviser: Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
- Executive Director: (vacant)
- Stalemate marks meeting with FIBA
- RP cage officials come to terms
- RP five in limbo despite unity pact
- Lina: New hoops body ready by end of Sept.
- Behind closed doors
- MVP looms as frontrunner for post
- Salud declines cage offer
- BAP, PB vow to finish job before Sept. 30
- Panel starts work on cage body
- Panel approves 25-man board
- Panel OK's bylaws' last draft, to check membership list next
- Pangilinan, 12 each from BAP, PB to form 'SBP Inc.' board
- SBPI board to elect Pangilinan as chairman and president
- MVP agrees to head SBP
- Lina quits as BAP president
- Jinggoy to take over as BAP head?
- MVP claims Lina was never nominated for president
- Jinggoy is new BAP president
- POC to Jinggoy: Honor BAP accord with SBP
- Lim bids for BAP reinstatement
- Jinggoy denies SBP deal, wants presidency
- Jinggoy gives in for MVP, says BAP must follow accord
- With Cage Panel Complete: SBP to hold unity congress
- Unity talks off anew as Jinggoy quits BAP
- Eala slams BAP on Jinggoy ouster
- BAP offers top post to Go