Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Filipino tapped as import in pro basketball league

HE BARELY STANDS 5-FOOT-9, BUT Jason Castro has grown too big for local basketball.
The mercurial guard of Harbour Centre will leave the familiar confines of the Philippine Basketball League to strut his wares for the Singapore Slingers of the Australian National Basketball League.

Castro, a two-time PBL Most Valuable Player out of Philippine Christian University, formally signed Friday a juicy one-season deal with the Slingers, the first Asian-based team in the NBL.
That gave Castro the distinction as the first Filipino ever to play as an import in a professional cage league.

PBL commissioner Chino Trinidad and Harbour Centre owner Mikee Romero said Castro’s breakthrough feat could pave the way for other Filipinos to penetrate the international basketball market, including the National Basketball Association.

“We have to dream, and it’s been the country’s long dream to send a Filipino player to the NBA,” said Trinidad during yesterday’s impromptu press conference at Kamayan Edsa. “To achieve a dream, one has to start with a first step, a giant step. Hopefully, Jason will be the one to lead us in achieving that dream.”

Joining Castro, the PSA Amateur Basketball Player of 2007, during the occasion were Harbour Centre team manager Eric Arejola, Singapore-based Filipino investment banker Paul Monozca, Slingers operations manager Michael Johnson, managing director Bob Turner and Castro’s agent Danny Espiritu.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me by the Singapore Slingers,” said Castro in Filipino. “They can count on me to give my 100 percent to help the team.”
After making the NBL playoffs in their maiden stint in 2006, the Slingers were eliminated last year.

Romero, who is in San Francisco, sent a text message hailing the momentous occasion.
“Castro being signed up by the Singapore Slingers is the biggest thing that happened in Philippine basketball,” said Romero. “This is the Australian pro basketball league, considered as one of the top five pro leagues in the world today. Hindi na biro ito (It’s no longer a joke).

“Players there are as big as the NBA already. The whole country must be very proud of Jason. He can now be scouted worldwide even by the NBA. The coming of Bob Turner and the NBL in the Philippines has opened the door for Filipino players to be known worldwide. This is big.”
Turner, an NBL Hall of Fame coach, said the NBL season will run from September to April, with teams playing 30 games, including 15 at home (Singapore Indoor Stadium) and 15 on the road (Australia, Perth and New Zealand).

Pressed for specifics, Espiritu said Castro will be getting nearly Aus $60,000 (about P1.8 million) net as part of the Slingers’ starting unit. (By Roy Luarca, INQ.net)

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