Blackwater owner’s troubles far from over

    SY: Making a big U-turn.
    SY: Making a big U-turn.

    PAYING a hefty fine does not end Dioceldo Sy’s troubles.

    In the coming days, the Blackwater owner will still have to answer to the Games and Amusements Board and the pro league governors, the latter due to statements that Sy made in the aftermath of his team’s recent unauthorized practice session amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

    The practice, according to the GAB and PBA, jeopardized the implementation of the IATF approval the two bodies worked so hard to get.

    GAB chairman Baham Mitra said that Blackwater governor Silliman Sy, Dioceldo’s brother, has assured that Blackwater will reply to the PBA’s inquiry on the practice incident two Saturdays ago.

    “We received a call from Mr. Silliman Sy the other day… saying that his brother was just misquoted and that they have received and will reply to our show cause letter,” said Mitra, who earlier posed the Elite face “possible fines and suspensions” for the unsanctioned practice session.

    Mitra also said Sy and other Blackwater officials are set to meet with GAB commissioner Eduard Trinidad and chief legal counsel Ermar Benitez this week.

    “We are just being careful as this might jeopardize the efforts of GAB, PBA and our sports patrons who have done our very best in requesting the IATF permission to practice even during the pandemic,” said Mitra.

    Last Thursday, the PBA fined Blackwater P100,000 for the session and also ordered all members of the team to undergo swab testing. Even if the test results come out negative they would still have to go through a seven-day self quarantine.

    All PBA teams have been barred from practicing until the PBA has received a joint administrative order that would allow them to do so, but in alternating four-player clusters and under strict health protocols.

    The IATF gave the go-signal for the non-contact practices, which are more of conditioning and workouts, only last July 3.

    The PBA is targeting to start the practices either this Wednesday or Friday, depending on when it will receive a copy of the order coming from the GAB, PSC, DOH and the IATF.

    Prior to that, Dioceldo Sy is set to meet with Marcial tomorrow to personally explain the statements he made to the media last Wednesday in the wake of the impending sanctions from both the GAB and PBA.

    “I was offended, bullied and pushed to the wall,” Sy was quoted as saying.

    “We were excited when it was announced that practices would be allowed. We had two players shooting around. What’s wrong with that? What did I violate? This is a non-issue for me and we will get sanctioned for that?” Sy also said.

    “Kung ganu’n lang e di bebenta ko na lang ‘yung franchise habang may bibili,” Sy said in his Faebook page, attaching a P150 million price tag to his franchise.

    “It will be hard for me to support the PBA if my heart is no longer there.”

    Sy added that if no buyer comes up his team will “continue to participate (in the PBA).”

    His statements did not sit well with PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, who is now questioning Blackwater’s commitment to the league it joined before the 2014-15 season.