Blackwater surprises with plan to leave PBA

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THE management of the Blackwater Elite in the PBA has put the team up for sale. — ALVIN S. GO

BLACKWATER ELITE dropped a bombshell late Wednesday when it made known of their intention to exit the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Team owner Dioceldo Dy made the announcement which came on the heels of reports that the team will be fined and sanctioned separately by the PBA and the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) for violating health and safety protocols when it recently held a practice session even before the PBA’s scheduled resumption of workouts next week.

Mr. Sy, owner of Ever Bilena Cosmetics, Inc. which makes Blackwater Cologne, shared on TV5’s Sports Page early this week that his team had started doing workouts last weekend and was actually satisfied with the strict protocols they have put up in accordance with those released by the PBA.

That caught the attention of both the PBA and GAB, which viewed the Blackwater practice as premature and in violation of procedures since the Joint Administrative Order of the GAB, Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had yet to be signed.

The Joint Administrative Order contains the implementing guidelines governing the conduct of professional and non-professional sports training while the country is under community quarantine brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The PBA is also awaiting the issuance of the order before plunging into resumption of activities.

The local pro league and GAB after getting wind of the news immediately reached out to the Blackwater team, asking the latter to explain its side. They, too, told the Elite management of possible fines and sanctions it is facing because of its actions.

Given the situation they are facing, and believing, by and large, they do not deserve to be sanctioned, media reports have Mr. Sy “no longer having the heart” to stay in the PBA, leading to his announcement to put the Blackwater team up for sale.

He is selling the franchise to interested buyers for at least P150 million.

bt365备用网站 reached out to Mr. Sy on Thursday to get more details but he respectfully declined the request for an interview as he is choosing to be silent for now on the matter.

But he did reaffirm their intention to sell and that “I’m just waiting if there’s any serious buyer.”

Blackwater entered the PBA in 2014 after spending some time in the PBA D-League.

Since entering the league, the Elite have had a rough journey, advancing to the playoffs only two times in 15 conferences in the league so far.

In the lead-up to this season, the team made several changes to its roster, including bringing in Nash Racela as its new head coach.

bt365备用网站 tried to get a reaction from PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial on Blackwater’s recent decision but he has yet to respond as of this writing. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo