PBA Press Corps speaks up on Peek's "ensaymada or pizza" claims

PBA Press Corps speaks up on Peek's "ensaymada or pizza" claims

Ali Peek got the ire of the press following a now controversial Facebook comment. Nuki Sabio/PBA Media Bureau (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PBA Press Corps issued its stand on the claims of former PBA star Ali Peek.

The burly six-foot-four center, who now works as a commentator for ESPN 5's PBA coverage after a 16-year career with five clubs, threw a shade to the reporters covering the games on Sunday night through a comment on ESPN 5 colleague Jinno Rufino's thread on the All-Star snub for Sean Anthony, saying, "You have to buy the media people ensaymada or pizza to gain votes."

The comment got the attention of veteran sportswriters, triggering a long discussion among them on social media.

Peek, through another comment on Rufino's thread, made an apology of sorts on Monday while making a public apology on Tuesday.

But hours after the new apology, the PBAPC clarified matters, saying, "Mr. Peek got his facts wrong, first, because the media doesn’t determine who the members of the All-Star teams are, and second, the PBA Press Corps has never asked for anything in return from anyone for an award. It was unimaginable on his part – not knowing how the All-Star members are named – considering that he was in the league that long and that he is a member of the television panel covering the games for Cignal’s HD Channel."

The media group then "encourage Mr. Peek to ask Mr. [Ramon] Fernandez, Mr. [Alvin] Patrimonio and Mr. [Junemar] Fajardo and all the other MVPs of the past, what it took them – aside from the great efforts they came up with to be better at what they do and the sacrifices they had to endure – to win those awards."

The press corps later stated, "It pains the group so much that Mr. Peek decided to come up with his rants without any provocation. And in his apology posted on Facebook today, the group wonders why Mr. Peek did not talk to the PBAPC first considering “that we are right next door to each other” before he came up with them?"

The statement concluded, "The PBAPC is not in the business of picking fights with personalities it covers, the group is also not here to explain to anyone its choices in voting for people other than to each other when the members deliberate before it votes. But the PBAPC is also not in the habit of backing down from anyone, especially when its integrity is questioned, not even from Mr. Peek."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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