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The great turnaround


PBA commissioner Chito Salud turned around the sagging fortunes of the Philippine Basketball Association within two years, which only deepens my respect for the man’s management and marketing expertise.

The lawyer-son of the late Rodrigo “Rudy” Salud, who took over the commissionership of Asia’s first play-for-pay league from the venerable Leo Prieto, is bound to go places.

Chito is well on the way to making Asia’s first pro league great again mainly because he has a very capable staff around him, led by PR man Willie Marcial. And Chito is keen on solving the perennial problem of officiating.

One of the youngest PBA commissioners on record, Chito is in the class of the late Jun Bernardino, Noli Eala and Sonny Barrios. The PBA has done enough to relive the good old days in the 1970s and ‘80s, when the league enjoyed its finest years.

* * *

I am sorry to my friend, coliseum owner Nene Araneta for not coming out with the World Slasher 8-Cock Derby story, the toughest cockfighting event in the world. The Slasher Derby has a long story behind it, starting in the year 1960.

Those mainly responsible for the derby’s drawing power included great Filipino cockfighters such as Dr. AP Reyes, who once owned the Sta. Ana Race track in Makati; shipping magnate James Chiongbian, noted politicians Ramon Mistra, DO Plaza and Ricardo Silverio, business tycoon Jose Lanuza, the Cojuangcos of Tarlac, the Montinolas of Negros, and the Lacsons of Bacolod.

In those days, the much-feared imported roosters came from the farms of the legendary Duke Hulsey, Oscar Aikins, Joe Goode, Billy Abbot, Billy Ruble, Johnny Jumper, Dee Cox, Dan Gray, Richard Bates, Bob Howard, Tom Wilson, Ray Alexander and Carol Nesmith.

Next to basketball, cockfighting has become so popular that the sport appeals to both the rich and poor. According to a recent survey, between 8 and 10 million people (mostly males) are addicted to it.

Cockfighting has even captivated the fancy of many artists.

During the last Philippine Independence Day Celebration, the lobby of the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in New York displayed the works of Fil-Am artists Lenore RS Lim, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Athena Magcase Lopez, Rebo Marquez, Mario Fernandez, and Al Ompod in an exhibit called “Sa Pula, Sa Puti…”

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Tags: Basketball , Chito Salud , PBA , PBA commissioner , Philippine Basketball Association

  • jnogar

    Hello Mr.Inigo,

    Sorry for being rude, I didnt mean to hijack the forum. Im well aware that I shouldnt be posting on here but I figure since this is one of your latest article, I stand a good chance of you reading my post. Again my apologies.

  • jnogar

    Hello Mr.Inigo,

    I was wondering if I can have your email address? My name is John Nogar and Im Alberto Nogar’s son. He is an ex Olympian and also won the bronze medal at the 3rd Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan. You can read more about my father on the link below.


    Unfortunately my father has been admitted at the Philippine Heart Center and Im at my wits end as I am trying to find some kind of assistance for him. He is in dire straits and desperately need help. I had been following some of your column and I can tell your deep concern for ex athletes that somehow our Goverment seem to have forgotten. I hope you can have time to contact me and I am more than willing to discuss the matter to you in private. PLS HELP!

    Kind Regards,

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