Filipino players’ side on the 40% commission issue

Ronnie Alcano has sided with the BMPAP

Billiards players belonging to the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) came to the defense of their managers on the issue of the 40-percent the latter is getting from their earnings.

“Wala kaming problema d'yan sa 40-percent na kinukuha sa amin dahil alam namin na kulang pa ‘yan na pantakip sa ginagastos nila sa amin,” said former double world champion Ronnie Alcano in response to the accusation that players are being exploited by their managers.

“Sa sweldo lang na binibigay nila sa amin mahirap nang mabawi dahil hindi naman kami laging nananalo, eh ‘yung ibang ginagastos pa nila sa amin gaya ng pabahay,” he added.

Alcano, along with former Asian Games gold medalist Gandy Valle and upstart Carlo Biado, challenged those who are criticizing the managers to come out clean and show what they have done to the welfare of the players. The three are all playing under the Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano.

“Hindi kami magpapadala sa mga paninira na dahil alam namin kung sino ang totoong may malasakit sa bilyar,” said Valle. “Si sir Perry ang kauna-unahang manager na nagbigay ng sweldo kahit nung hindi pa sikat ang mga player niya.

“Nagpapasalamat nga ako dahil patuloy pa rin ang pag-aalaga nila sa akin kahit wala pa akong naipapasok na malaking pera,” added Biado.

Responding to accusation, particularly coming from promoter Yen Makabenta, that some managers are exploiting the players by taking a 40-percent cut on their winnings, Mariano dared Makabenta to categorically state who are of those he is pertaining to.

“He should name names,” said Mariano, who also challenged Makabenta to compare their records to show who is really helping the players.

“Magpakitaan kami,” he said. “I'm willing to show my book.”

With that, Mariano, who is one of the incorporators of the BMPAP, even revealed the source that keeps him in managing the 16 Bugsy boys despite incurring huge losses from it.

The Association of Club, Karaoke and Disco Operators (ACKDO) is shelling out as much as P170,000 to help Bugsy Promotions.

“It's coming from our social fund,” explained ACKDO secretary-general Amil Yap. “The funds come from the dues of all our members and even from the entertainers.”

Yap furthered that apart from billiards, ACKDO also used the fund for medical missions, legal assistance for all the stakeholders of the entertainment industry and in helping fellow club owners in red.

“If you will ask why billiards, it's because most of the club owners are billiards enthusiasts,” said Yap . “If you would recall, before, most of the clubs have billiards room.”

He added that pool legends Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante were once supported by club owners, particularly Boy Fernandez, who owns Rommel's Billiards.

“Even Makabenta sought our help during the World Pool,” Yap divulged. “Nangungutang s'ya sa amin ng P15-million.”

Referring to his records, Mariano said that his top-earning player have brought him a total commission of P3.5-million over the past three-and-a-half years of their partnership. But he spent at total of P3.8-million for that player, including his salary and expenses such as housing, training, travel, and competition allowance.

“That's negative P300,000,” Mariano pointed out. “Plus, if you take a look at this record of my second top-earner, you will see that I lost around P1.3-million on him.”

“So that's P1.6-million already, from my top two players! So how about the other 14 na halos walang naipapasok pang pera sa akin pero ginagastusan ko na?”

Mariano also said that he didn't recruit his players but instead they are the ones who applied to him. He added there are some 27 players applying to Bugsy.

“Without these friends from my other industry, along with corporate sponsors like San Miguel, I wouldn't be able to sustain my management of my players,” he said.

“Handling players is not an easy job, much more, a profitable one. The percentage we got from the players' winnings is not enough to cover the expenses, especially if you are giving monthly allowance – which in my case ranges from P8,000 to P50,000 – with or without them playing,” he added.

“That's why I'm also afraid of those who are recruiting players only for the purpose of discrediting BMPAP and undermine its advocacy. Baka hindi nila kayanin ang pagpapasweldo ng P30,000 a month at pagkatapos ay bigla na lang nilang bitawan ang mga players. Kawawa naman sila.”

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe