Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio is greatly pleased with the successful holding of the recently concluded 2018 Fiba 3×3 World Cup at the huge Philippine Arena earlier this month.
Despite failing to qualify for the finals, team Gilas Philippines composed of 2017 first overall pick Christian Standhardinger from San Miguel Beermen, Globalport’s Stanley Pringle and TNT Katropa teammates Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy, made the Filipinos proud, first beating 7th-seeded Brazil in their opener, then succumbing to Mongolia and Canada, before beating power-house Russia in their final match.
Holding it to a bigger event was the brainchild of the Panlilio-led SBP, to provide thousands of basketball-crazy Pinoy fans an excellent experience to witness the best and brightest 3-on-3 ballers on the planet for supremacy.
“We’ve been very successful holding it in the malls, with almost 4,000 people watching the games. But this year, we chose to move it to a bigger venue to give an opportunity for the youth to watch the game on a larger venue,” said Panlilio.
“From the point of view of SBP and Fiba, we want to see bigger crowds in 3×3 and that’s something we delivered to Fiba. Hosting events have put the Philippines on the map and show that we can host events like this.”
Forty teams from 37 different countries competed in the event in the world’s largest indoor arena in Bocaue, Bulacan which is capable of seating 55,000 fans.
Panlilio said that holding 3×3 in the Philippines serves as a debut as an official Olympic sport at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Panlilio’s love for basketball afforded him the opportunity to follow the huge footsteps of Manuel Pangilinan, who was at the helm of the Philippine basketball renaissance as SBP president for the past decade.
As SBP president, Panlilio hopes to do more than stay the course.
“The plan is to really go into massive grassroots development. Not only for kids but also for coaches and referees. Like any business, it isn’t only development but also sustainability. Once you’ve reached that high level of basketball, you do not want to go down again. You want to keep aiming higher,” he said.
Panlilio is the senior vice president and head of customer retail services, corporate marketing and communications of Meralco. He also serves as the team governor of the Meralco Bolts in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Before joining Meralco in the early 2000s, Panlillio had over 15 years of experience in the field of business development and information technology, holding various management positions at IBM Philippines Inc.
It was at IBM where he realized that seismic changes can unexpectedly occur, such as the untimely demise of mobile phone giant Nokia. Panlilio’s tech-savvy traits are now key to steering Meralco’s customer service to a higher level in order to keep abreast of the increasing market competitiveness.
“We are evolving Meralco’s infrastructure to be more responsive to customer needs, which means adopting advanced metering infrastructure (AMI),” said Panlilio.
In the near future, Panlilio dreams of Meralco adapting to advanced and modern technology solutions to keep track of all the electric power consumption of all its customers. With this, instead of customers calling them about power outages or interruption, Meralco will be the ones calling their cellphone to tell them there’s a problem in their area and that in one hour, repair or restoration will be finished.
Pushing the envelope further for AMI, Panlilio said they envision it to provide customers an up-to-date electricity consumption on their meter data, allowing them to switch off and on appliances contributing to the sudden electricity surge.
This will come into fruition, Panlilio said, when they roll out this year an online application which will be available on Meralco’s website.
Under Panlilio’s stewardship, he introduced a technology that offers customers prepaid electricity, now with over 95,000 customers availing of the new and innovative connection service.
“Our prepaid offer is the first in the world, which combines mobile experience and electricity,” Panlilio said. This unique service garnered international and local awards for Meralco.
“Our aspirations is to be a total energy solutions partner, to know not only the needs, wants but also the changing lifestyle patterns or business challenges of customers. We are aware that customers are now changing, they are more demanding, more tech-savvy, and we want to always improve how we service our customers,” Panlilio said.