Dr. Ron Damasco, commissioner of the North American Basketball Association (NABA), warned players, coaches, teams and affiliate cities against joining a group called “Team Philippines.”
Damasco said that NABA has nothing to do with the group, which is reportedly recruiting players who would compose a team that would participate in Filipino tournaments in Austria, Hawaii and other American states.
The commissioner said that NABA will suspend or expel players, teams and cities joining the group, noting that Team Philippines is conducting recruitment and tryouts without any permission from NABA authorities.
Team Philippines is reportedly sanctioned by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP).
In a letter to Russell Casapao, director of the Washington, DC which is a NABA-affiliated city, Damasco stated that the activities of Team Philippines are perceived to undermine and jeopardize “the preparations of Washington DC for its hosting of the upcoming 25th Anniversary Tournament of NABA in September, next year.”
He said, “Whether it is going to make good or not its promise of forming a Philippine team is not NABA’s concern. The nagging question that bothers us is: Why NABA is being targeted for its recruitment of players and teams?”
In the same letter to Casapao, Damasco said: “I want to make it clear that NABA and its officers, the commissioner in particular, will never yield to any kind of threats. I wish to reiterate the declaration I had made two months ago: Any city affiliate, a team, a player, a coach or any officer of the NABA who will join Team Philippines will be reprimanded and/or penalize with suspension or expulsion.”
He added, “NABA has nothing to do with any basketball organization outside of the NABA family. NABA is not obligated to follow any instruction or directive issued by any basketball organization in the Philippines such as the SBP, BAP, PBA and PBL. NABA is an independent organization and is not duty-bound to recognize the authority of the basketball organizations in the Philippines.