Vargas wants PH-CHI friendly to kick off season of inspiration


Believing that the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) should take charge of nudging the country back to “normalcy,” league chair Ricky Vargas wishes for a race-to-four exhibition between the league’s finest stars and regional powerhouse China.

“We need to give our people inspiration and hope,” Vargas, the TNT representative to the board of governors, said in a statement. “I would like to see Season 46 jump-started by this exhibition match, the technical aspects of which could be crafted by our tournament officials.”

The idea came from his message during the PBA’s 46th founding anniversary, which also would have been the start of the league’s new season if not for the rise in new COVID-19 cases.

“We need to give our people inspiration and hope,” Vargas’ statement read.

The PBA is faced with a familiar predicament after its season opening has been delayed again this year.

The league was able to kick off its festivities on March 8 last year before it was suspended due to the pandemic. It planned a restart on several dates before finally settling with an October reboot, which was held in a bio-secure setup in Clark Freeport.

Vargas’ plan is for the PBA selection to be coached by Yeng Guiao, Gilas Pilipinas’ former mentor who currently calls the shots at NLEX.

“I think he would be perfect to lead a courageous charge for national pride and honor,” Vargas said.

Vargas, who is now serving on his fourth straight term as the league’s chair, said that the vaccination of players should be of the league’s foremost concern as it enters a new year.

“[It’s] part of the country’s healing process. We need to rally our people towards a common goal. Let us all sacrifice for the greater good and for a stronger PBA,” he said.

“Let’s get the ball rolling as soon as possible.”

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