The impasse in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) came to an end on the day the league kicked off its 43rd season.
Chito Narvasa tendered his resignation on Sunday morning to the PBA board, an action that hopefully would halt the controversy that has dragged the league for quite sometime now.
But the PBA Board asked Narvasa to stay until the end of the year to help in the transition process and has appointed Willie Marcial as officer-in-charge (OIC).
Incoming board chairman Rickie Vargas of TNT KaTropa made the announcement in a hastily called news conference on Sunday.
“Now, we are stronger than ever and we will stay like that as we begin the healing process of the PBA. This is for all the fans,” said Vargas, who swapped position with NLEX’s Ramoncito Fernandez, who was supposed to be the incoming chair this season.
“We reached out to Commissioner Narvasa and we made amends for the things that needed to be clarified and worked out on his personal hurts on the process,” Vargas added. “As a result of that, he submitted his resignation this morning, which is effective today.”
Narvasa was under fire after approving the controversial Kia-San Miguel Beer trade that saw top prospect Christian Standhardinger going to the Beermen while the Elite got three role players.
Last month, seven teams, led by the Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) teams TNT, NLEX and Meralco, announced that majority of the board has lost confidence and trust on Narvasa and therefore not renewing his contract.
But the other group led by the San Miguel Corp. squads of Ginebra, San Miguel Beer and Magnolia showed their support to the beleaguered commissioner urging him to stay.
The resulting impasse lasted a couple of months. During Monday’s news conference at the Okada Manila, the board of governors refused to answer questions regarding the PBA crisis.
Narvasa attended the event but refused to be interviewed by the media.
On Sunday, his two-year term as the PBA’s ninth commissioner came to an end.
“We thanked him for his contributions,” said Vargas, who was joined by vice-chairman Dickie Bachmann of Alaska and treasurer Raymond Zorilla of Phoenix in the news conference along with the rest of the board of governors.
JOSEF T. RAMOS