MANILA -- San Miguel Corp. president and CEO Ramon S. Ang admitted spending a fortune on the company's teams in the PBA that he once contemplated halting their basketball operations.
The SMC group has three clubs in the PBA -- the San Miguel Beermen, the Magnolia Hotshots and the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.
"Baka 'pag sinabi ko, matakot ka ... Ang ginagastos sa basketball operations ng San Miguel group, bilyon sa isang taon," he said in an interview on broadcaster Anthony Taberna’s YouTube channel.
Ang inherited the SMC teams when he took control of the corporation in 2012.
He did not elaborate how he divides the budget on the three teams, but said that a lot are spent on basketball gyms, instructors and imports.
“Nirekomenda kong (i-stop) ‘yan several times," said Ang. "Ang laging sagot sa kin ng mga marketing manager, operation manager: ‘Boss, makakatipid tayo nyan pero magagalit ang taong bayan.’"
"Kasi sa totoo lang, iyan lang ang libangan ng mga kababayan natin e.”
He cited Ginebra's popularity among the masses, pointing out that the Gin Kings' epic Game 7 against the Bay Area Dragons in the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals last January still holds the attendance record at the Philippine Arena with 54,589 fans.
"Ginebra is so popular. If you remember, naalala nyo ba 'yung Ginebra vs 'yung Bay Dragons? 'Yung puro imported ang players? Mas malaki pa 'yun (sa attendance) sa FIBA! Grabe ang fans," said Ang.
“’Yun ating mga kababayan 'yun lamang daw ang libangan nila. 'Pag tinigil mo 'yan baka magalit sila.”
“Ayaw ko namang magalit sila.”