Roast chicken retail Chooks-to Go just got bolder in supporting Gilas Pilipinas as it plans to offer maximum monthly contracts similar to the PBA set up to players who are willing to serve full-time as national team members in the future.
In the send-off lunch Wednesday tendered for Gilas bound for the William Jones Cup, Bounty Agro Ventures president Ronald Mascarinas reiterated the company’s commitment to form the strongest national team possible, patterned before the Northern Consolidated Cement team.
“For those who will play full time in the national team, we’re willing to give max salary,” said Mascarinas boldly in a well-attended sendoff for the national team at Bar One in Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ortigas, Pasig. “You play for the national team, as long as you’re in the national team, we will give you the max. To be selected to the nationl team, you must be the best among the best.”
Known as the NCC and mentored by the late American coach Ron Jacobs, the national squad, bankrolled by Danding Cojuangco, won 2 Jones Cup titles, along with the 1985 ABC men’s championships, (that has since been known as the FIBA Asia Cup).
The Chooks-to go big boss said it was the first time he made the company’s plans known, seeing it as a solution to the conflicting schedule the PBA had with FIBA qualifying tournaments, which only got more complicated under its new home-and-away format set to start this November.
“We’re making this offer, that if we can work out with the SBP and the PBA, we’re willing to finance – full time national team players,” said Mascarinas, noting he is eying a 16-man full-time Gilas players. “As an incentive for them, we’re willing to give the maximum salary to each national player. If that is at all possible.”
Mascarinas hopes the discussion will roll between the SBP and the PBA in his suggested national team set-up.
“Gusto ko sana full time na national team,” he said. “Wherever, kung saan man tournaments yan, hindi papalit palit. We may not have the tallest team, not have the most talented team, but kung ang team natin ay matagal na magkasama, in terms of teamwork, we might have that, that might be the asset of the Philippine team.”
Mascarinas, however, stressed he’s willing to build the squad from scratch as he is no longer looking at the current Gilas cadets led by Mac Belo and Co. who already entered the pro circuit last year through the special draft.
Should this vision come into fruition, Mascarinas, whose company signed a four-year deal with the SBP, went further by vowing to support the future full-time players until the end of their playing careers.
“You serve the country well, doon ka sa national team. If you serve the country, we will give you the max compensation, and we will take care of your livelihood after your playing career,” stressed Mascarinas.
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