“Playing for the national team is a privilege and not an obligation,” reacts Sen. Sonny Angara on Barzaga’s plan to summon Lassiter and Slaughter

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Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga is very eager to summon Greg Slaughter and Marcio Lassiter after they declined to play for Gilas-Pilipinas, the Senate don’t want to make an issue about it.

The head of the Senate Committee on Games and Amusement Senator Sonny Angara said on Tuesday he has no plan to conduct an inquiry into Greg Slaughter and Marcio Lassiter’s pullout from the Gilas Pilipinas pool, saying playing for the national team is a “privilege and not an obligation.”

Angara told Spin.ph that he has no plan whatsover to meddle in the affairs of the national team, a day after his counterpart in Congress, Barzaga, bared plans to launch an inquiry into what he described as an “unpatriotic act” by the two PBA players.

“We have no plans of calling them (Lassiter and Slaughter) nor do we intend to conduct an investigation,” said Angara, a first-term senator from Aurora province.

“Mahirap pwersahin ang tao maglaro sa bansa kung di nila trip ito,” Angara added.

Angara against Barzaga’s plan

His opinion runs counter with that of Barzaga, head of the House Committee on Games and Amusement who, in a tirade on Monday, hit out at Slaughter and Lassiter for pulling out of the Gilas pool for the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

The fiery congressman also labelled as “palusot” the statements of both players that they don’t want to take away spots in the World Cup team from the original 12 players who earned the trip to Spain by finishing second to Iran in the last Fiba-Asia championships in Manila.

At the same time, Barzaga bared plans to summon the two as well as officials of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) as he threatened to push for the cancellation of the professional licenses as well as the passports of the two Fil-foreign players from Ginebra and San Miguel Beer.

However, Angara, a second-generation senator, was firm in his stand that players who decline to play for the national team cannot be forced to do so.

“It’s a privilege (to play for the national team). Not all who are asked will accept, pero di din mapilipit,” he said.

Feeling the pressure

Meanwhile, a source close to Lassiter and Slaughter bared the two under-fire players are feeling the pressure but at the same time are comforted by the support and understanding of fans.

“Syempre nasasaktan sila sa mga nababasa, pero natutuwa sila kasi madami ring fans ang nakakaunawa at nakaka-intindi sa kung ano ang paniniwala nila,” said the source.

But this issue will certainly disappear in the coming days with more fans are in support of their decisions rather than against.

— with reports from Spin.ph

Ed Umbao

Founder of PhilNews.xyz | co-Founder of PhilNews.ph

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