Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy said a search committee was formed to look for Chito Narvasa’s replacement as commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
With the fruitless annual planning of the PBA Board in Los Angeles because of the absence of four members who pushed for the non-renewal of Narvasa’s term, Sy said he’s confident that the leadership crisis in the league will be over soon.
“Maybe next week there’ll be good news that will come out when they (board) come back. I heard there is already a search committee to see the available candidates. They are really working on it,” said Sy on Monday.
Blackwater is one of the seven clubs that voted for the non-renewal of Narvasa’s term as commissioner, citing loss of confidence. But five teams, led by the San Miguel Corporation block, said otherwise and wanted Narvasa to remain as commissioner for the coming 43rd season of the PBA.
Eight members of the board went to Los Angeles for their annual planning sessions but reports said the issue on Narvasa was not discussed, as four members, including incoming chairman Ramoncito Fernandez of NLEX, did not join the trip.
Besides Fernandez, Phoenix’s Raymond Zorilla, lawyer Mamerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine and TNT KaTropa’s Patrick Gregorio were absent in the planning session.
Alaska and Meralco were the two other teams, which opposed Narvasa’s term extension although they sent representatives to Los Angeles.
The league is set to open its new season on December 17 and Sy suggested making Fernandez as the league’s officer in charge (OIC) until the search committee finds a new commissioner.
“It’s going to be a big sacrifice on the part of Mon Fernandez to do that because he’s a CEO of NLEX and Maynilad. So, it’s going to be a rush for the search committee to find a new commissioner as soon as possible. It is really hard to do the day-to-day job in the PBA,” added Sy.
Rickie Santos, the operations head of the league, was previously named the league’s OIC after the seven teams decided not to extend Narvasa’s term. The SMC bloc reportedly turned down Santos’ appointment as OIC.
“Let’s hope for the best and hope that there is no lockout. We don’t want to see a lockout like what happened in the NBA a few years ago,” he said. “There should be a PBA on December 17.”
The seven teams threatened not to play if Narvasa stays as commissioner but Sy said the team governors agreed to settle the matter on their own.
“I think that after the fire that had happened between the two groups, the tension has gone already. They just realized that most of the teams are not happy anymore and 95 percent of the public is unhappy [with the way Narvasa runs the league]. It’s about time to get a new and non-partisan commissioner,” he added.
During the Los Angeles planning session, the eight board members have agreed to retain the three-conference format and the three-leg PBA All-Star Week.