Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) elected Al Panlilio as its new president replacing its long-time head Manny V. Pangilinan on Monday during the national sports association’s congress at the Dusit Hotel in Makati City.
“We will do our best to continue the program started by MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan),” Panlilio, the vice-president of Meralco and head of the MVP Sports Foundation, told reporters during the news conference. “We have to keep also our grassroots development program.”
Panlilio also said the SBP and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will always work together in building the potential of the national team. “It’s difficult to have PBA players if you don’t have grassroots programs. We have ongoing talks with the PBA. We’ll have it finalized in time,” he said.
“We need to have an agreement on how we could move forward with the national team program. The task for us is developing basketball not only internationally but also locally.”
Pangilinan, who served as SBP president since 2007, wished his successor luck, “I wish all of them much success with all my heart. There’s more work to be done, more task to be accomplished. It would be excellent to see our national team compete in the 2020 Olympics and the 2023 World Cup.”
Under the leadership of Pangilinan, the Philippines ascended in FIBA rankings from No. 64 to 28.
It was also under his watch when the Philippines qualified for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. It was also under Pangilinan when the country, for the first time in 40 years, was able to host two international FIBA tournaments – the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July.
Besides Panlilio, the other newly elected officers of the SBP are Senator Sonny Angara as chairman of the board, Robbie Puno as vice chairman, Ricky Palou as treasurer and lawyer Marievic Añonuevo as secretary.