Romero acquires Tigers’ franchiseBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
POWERADE will not be back to try and improve on its second place finish in the Philippine Cup in the next Philippine Basketball Association season starting in October.
The disbandment of the Coca-Cola Bottlers franchise in the pro league was formalized yesterday when its sale to Sultan 900 Inc. of sportsman Mikee Romero was completed, ending months of speculation regarding the future of the Tigers.
Coca-Cola informed the PBA of the sale and commissioner Chito Salud will now convene the board for Sultan 900 to get the required two-thirds vote that would make Romero’s company a PBA member.
“After I have studied the papers and should I find them in order, then I will draw up my recommendation to the governors,” said Salud. “As soon as I’m ready I will request the Board of Governors to convene.”
Romero, who was one of the defunct Philippine Basketball League’s most successful owners with his Harbour Centre squad, is in London for the Olympics and could not be reached for comment.
The basketball-enamored Romero is also the president of the Philippine National Shooting Association.
Those who are left in the Powerade team, led by scoring champion Gary David and coach Bo Perasol, were scheduled to meet late last night and would be briefed of the sale by team executive Ronnie Asuncion.
Powerade finished second to Talk ‘N Text in the Philippine Cup.
But even after that success, the multinational leadership of Coca-Cola didn’t feel like the PBA was a viable advertising vehicle, hence the sale that started with the San Miguel group of companies.
Coca-Cola president Bill Schultz had talked to San Miguel president Ramon S. Ang about the sale.
Should the board of governors approve the sale, it will determine what concessions Romero could get. Romero had said that he would want to directly recruit five amateurs, among them 6-foot-10 Jun Mar Fajardo.