Crisis in the PBA over – Romero


Outgoing board chair Mikee Romero of Global Port gives the opening remarks during Wednesday night’s news conference announcing the season opening held at the Okada Manila in Parañaque City.

All’s well that ends well.

This was how some members of the Board of Governors of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) described the situation in the pro-league’s policy-making body in so far as the existing impasse on the issue of whether commissioner Chito Narvasa will be replaced or not.

Outgoing board chair Mikee Romero, the Global Port franchise owner, even went to the extent saying that the misunderstanding between the two feuding factions involved in the issue is over and that everything will all be resolved after the opening ceremony of the league’s 43rd season this coming Sunday a the Araneta Coliseum.

“One solid proof that the fiasco will soon die down is the presence tonight of all board members who have been cordial, sitting side-by-side with one another as if nothing happened,” Romero said in reference to last Wednesday night’s news conference announcing the season opening held at the posh Okada Manila in Parañaque City where all members of the board representing the 12 teams came in full force.

They are Rene Pardo (Magnolia Hotshots), lawyer Mamerto Mondragon (Rain of Shine), Ryan Gregorio (Meralco Bolts), Magnum Membrere (Talk N Text), Eric Arejola, also of Global Port, Robert Non (San Miguel Beer) and Alfrancis Chua (Barangay Ginebra.

“Ayos na naman, ilang mga bagay-bagay na lang ang re-resolbahin pagkatapos ng opening, “ Romero assured in an exclusive one-on-one interview after the newscon “ Puwede mo nang isulat ito at ipaalam sa ating fans at iba pa nating mga kababayang mahilig sa basketball na tuloy na ang ating 43rd season as scheduled at makakapanood naman sila ng mga kapana-panabik na laro.”

“Look, we are all in the board to serve the interest of basketball in general, the PBA in particular and, most importantly our fans, so hindi namin kailangang patagalin ang anumang sigalot na hindi nabibigyan ng solusyon, “ he said by way of reacting to reports that PBA fans have turned a little apprehensive to rumors that the opening of its 43rd season might be delayed.

“We had just been very busy setting the stage for our opening these past two or three weeks that’s why there was a delay in resolving the issue. In behalf of the board, I would like to apologize to our fans for that. I would like to assure our fans though that we are doing everything to offer solution to them problem,” he said.

“Yeah, we’ve been talking with one another. Mga civil naman kami. We all represent some of the biggest companies in the business sector. We know that the fans eh medyo naiinip na. Hindi namin sila nakakalimutan. We know that without them, their long years of support ay hindi makararating sa ganitong kalagayan ang liga at tinatanaw namin nang napakalaki ‘yan,” he said.

“And, of course, we also owe the founding fathers of the PBA to see the league above waters. They and those who followed them who how the league progresses to become our people’s cheapest sports and entertainment show the past four decades or so. Our plan this year is to improve further on that,” Romero vowed.

Fernandez, who will succeed Romero as chair this season, echoed the same sentiment expressed by his predecessor, saying, the next time “you hear about the impasse is when we officially announce that it’s over.”

Magnolia Hothots’ Pardo, too, assured that a smooth resolution of the impasse is in the offing. “Wala namang naging problema ang liga na hindi na-resolba ng maayos. Kaya hindi dapat mangamba ang ating fans na baka hindi matuloy ang pagbubukas ng season. Tuloy na tuloy na.”

The problem arose after Narvasa’s controversial decision awarding Fil-German Christian Standhardinger to San Miguel from Kia in the last Rookie Draft leading a group of seven, headed by Fernandez which opposed the renewal for the extension of the commissioner’s term which expired a the end of this season;

Fernandez’s “Magnificent 7” opposing Narvasas’ extension included the three franchises in the MVP Group of Companies (TnT, NLEX, and Meraco), Alaska, Rain or Shine, Phoenix and Blackwater,

Narvasa, on the other hand, enjoys the support of the so-called “Group of 5” that includes the three San Miguel Corp. franchises (SMBeer, Ginebra and Magnolia) and Global Port and Kia. As a result, Narvasa remains in his post creating a stalemate within the board.


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