EARLY birds Rene Pardo of San Mig Coffee, lawyer Mert Mondragon of Rain or Shine and Dickie Bachmann of Alaska were gathered by the entrance of the PBA office in Libis, smoking and shooting the breeze when I arrived last Friday to cover the board meeting scheduled at 12 noon.
The trio was just making small talk, as they waited for the other governors to make their appearance. Mert was commenting on the photos posted by James Yap on Instagram, his arms wrapped around his tall, blonde Italian girlfriend. The governors said they saw the photos and they all agreed the lady with James was lovely. Mang Pards said this was the couple’s second trip to Italy.
The talk had shifted to the recent “Rigodon” within San Miguel teams Petron Blaze, Ginebra and San Mig Coffee, when PBA chair Robert Non drove up in his white SUV.
Non spiritedly joined in to confirm speculations, dispel some and clear misconceptions that had been going around basketball circles since the announcement of the shuffle.
He clarified the misconception, for example, that Allan Caidic had been demoted to the collegiate level when he was designated team manager of De La Salle University, the team being heavily supported by San Miguel ’s Danding Cojuangco.
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“Allan and even La Salle Green Archers head coach Juno Sauler keep their respective posts with Ginebra. But during the UAAP season, La Salle becomes their priority,” the chair explained.
“That goes for the other coaches who are involved in the collegiate leagues like Leo Austria of Adamson, Pido Jarencio of UST and Boycie Zamar of UE.”
Austria will be assistant coach of Petron Blaze while Boycie will be among head coach Alfrancis Chua’s group of deputies at Ginebra that include Koy Banal, Ato Agustin and Jorge Gallent.
Austria will be reporting to newly appointed Petron head coach Gee Abanilla as Siot Tangquincen takes over the post left by Hector Calma.
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Of the three San Miguel team managers, only Alvin Patrimonio of San Mig Coffee retained his post. Samboy Lim of Ginebra and Hector Calma of Petron Blaze have both been promoted to alternate governors of their respective teams.
“San Mig Coffee had the least movement among the three teams. There’s only the entry of Olsen Racela as assistant coach,” said Mang Pards, who sees only the positive in the massive shuffling.
“With the addition of Dickie, Hec and Samboy, our All-Star team will be truly unbeatable.”
For most of you, the small talk could be more interesting than the main topic in the agenda which was the proposed TV coverage submitted by TV5. We waited at the PBA office for about five hours, but no decision was reached by the board last Friday. They decided to regroup this coming week for a final decision.
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HOOPVINE: Got confirmation that Danding Cojuangco donated an eye-popping P250 million to La Salle sports… Talk ‘N Text team manager Aboy Castro, who pinch-hit for Pato Gregorio in last Friday’s board meeting, squelched reports that the MVP group was joining the ABL… Also learned straight from the horse’s mouth that Alaska governor Joaqui Trillo will be retiring soon. This is his last season and Bachmann will take over his post.