Monday, February 27, 2012



The PBA returning to Dubai is not the question any longer. The question now is how soon.

Right at the conclusion of the 2012 PBA Dubai series, league commissioner Chito Salud entertained two groups exploring tie-ups for another PBA event in the Gulf business hub.

Both groups were thrilled and awed by the passion and euphoria witnessed in the two-game series
played by Barangay Ginebra, Rain or Shine and Barako Bull Thursday and Friday at the Al Shabab
Sports Club.

Financiers of the event were overjoyed that they’re hoping to be given another deal by the PBA.

“We’re very satisfied. Hindi mababayaran ang sayang dinala ng PBA sa mga kababayan natin,”
said Tess Sales Al-Ansari, owner of the Far Eastern Private School who helped finance the event.

Leaders of the local cage federation were so much impressed that they want to have their own
partnership with the PBA.

“They want either an official game or an exhibition game against a US collegiate team,” said

During the press conference held just hours after the delegation arrived in Dubai, the PBA
commissioner had promised to bring even bigger games in Dubai which has a huge population of
Filipino workers and expats.

Salud said they’re visiting Dubai for the third time in five years purposely to bring love,
affection and cheers to the Filipino workers.

They accomplished their mission, thus, flying home Sunday themselves greatly satisfied.

The PBA was warmly received with an overflowing crowd roaring as they watched the Ginebra-Rain or Shine match won by the Kings, 89-88.

“Hanggang ngayon yung PBA pa rin ang pinag-uusapan ng mga Filipino. Kahit papaano talagang
nabawasan ang kalungkutan nila,” said Aniza Odiaman, owner of Mars & Venus Beauty Salon, another
major sponsor of the event, on the eve of the PBA group’s departure.

The Philippine Expats Basketball Club (PEBC), organizer and promoter of the just-concluded event, hopes to bring back the PBA in December.

“We just can’t have enough of the PBA games. We’re looking at holidays in late November and
early December. We want those days so that our kababayans are free to enjoy the games,” said PEBC chairman Edwin Deang, from San Fernando, Pampanga.

Al-Ansari, who is married to a UAE national who’s into several businesses, herself wants the PBA
back soon.

“It’s up to the commissioner. As for us, we’re willing to back this event for 20 years. I’m
very satisfied seeing the Filipinos happy,” said Ahmid Al-Ansari.

The Al-Ansari couple plans to fly to Manila in the next few days to watch the games in its regular venues. (SB)