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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) braces for possible fines following the decision of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to withdraw the men’s basketball team from the 2018 Asian Games slated August 18 to September 2 in Jakarta. (READ: Gilas Pilipinas pulls out of 2018 Asian Games)
“Fines are for sure. There is a separate fine if it’s withdrawal for 30 days, there’s a higher fine if it’s withdrawal less than 30 days,” POC president Ricky Vargas told Rappler via a phone interview on Friday, July 27.
According to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Constitution and Rules’ Article 57, the withdrawal of an entry without OCA’s consent would be subjected to disciplinary action.
Section 10 states: “The withdrawal of a duly entered delegation, Team or Athletes without the consent of the OCA, shall be the subject of disciplinary action as envisaged by the EB (executive board).”
Although they have yet to formally communicate the country’s withdrawal to OCA and the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC), the POC and SBP said they’re already aware of the possible sanctions.
However, other penalties outside monetary fines will depend on the deliberation and decision of the OCA executive board (EB), according to Article 57.
“The OCA will levy financial and other penalties on any NOC (national Olympic committee) which withdraws its team as a whole from team competitions after the draw is completed. The penalty will be decided by the EB, on a case by case basis.”
The Gilas Pilipinas pullout will also forfeit the deposits made for the accommodations and other monetary requirements in the Asian Games.
“Where a NOC withdraws its delegation, whether in part or as a whole, the deposit for accommodation and all other monetary requirements shall be forfeited entirely or in the amount to be determined by the EB in case of partial withdrawal.”
Despite the heavy fines, Vargas said the POC supports SBP’s decision.
“We (POC) respect the decision of NSA and I appreciate the difficulties that they are getting into,” said Vargas.
“That’s why it’s more than basketball. It’s actually what they stated in their letter, malalim ang pinaggangilinan (the reasons are complicated), they needed to regroup. They’re going through a process of preparing for an appeal, so that.. they’re probably hurting also.”
SBP released its decision via social media on Thursday night, July 26. The national basketball federation cited its need to focus on “regrouping” Gilas Pilipinas and preparing the appeal for the FIBA suspensions.
Yeng Guiao, who would have coached the Asiad team, said he was also unable to get the players he wanted the Rain or Shine core.
Gilas Pilipinas was slated to open its Asian Games campaign on August 16 in Jakarta. – Rappler.com