Who’ll replace Chito Salud?
TO SCRIBES covering the PBA, the resignation of Angelico “Chito” Salud as league commissioner didn’t come as a surprise.
Chito has long been hinting about making this move according to one of the more senior scribes in the beat.
“Chito said five years of service to the league is enough. He has given the PBA all the ideas he has to give, practically devoting all his time and energy to make it a big success,” the scribe said.
“At this point, he feels that a new commissioner could infuse fresh ideas and energy to the league, that’s why he’s stepping down.”
If the boys who regularly cover the PBA had an inkling of what was coming, personally, I did not.
I was in fact a bit shocked to learn about this development only two days ago. My first reaction was, “Why?” when the league has been enjoying box office success and a number of milestones such as having an unprecedented 12 teams in its roster.
A member of the executive board said, perhaps Chito is tired. “Baka pagod na. Or maybe he is planning a career shift.”
The PBA governor said I will have the chance to throw the question personally during the press conference scheduled at halftime of the first game at the Mall of Asia Arena today officially announcing Salud’s resignation and the end of his tour of duty after the 2015 season.
Earlier in the day, the board will convene for a special meeting, probably to discuss his successor.
PBA chair Pato Gregorio said they have absolutely no one in mind as yet, although for sure there will be many interested parties.
After all, the job of a commissioner is very glamorous, highly visible, pays very well and has many perks.
I still can’t imagine why Chito wants to give it up unless he has a much better offer or he is running for public office next year.
Yesterday, I asked PBA Media Bureau Willie Marcial if he was interested to take over the post vacated by Salud.
Willie said he has no aspirations. But he did mention some names who he feels could do the job: Former PSC Commissioner Chito Loyzaga, former Sta. Lucia alternate governor laywer Ariel Magno, former TV5 executive Bobby Barreiro and BCAP president Chito Narvasa who was considered for the post more than a decade ago when Noli Eala emerged with the most votes from the board, besting him and Shell’s Rey Gamboa.
Other names being floated are Rickie Santos, the PBA operations head; former PBA marketing manager Jacque Ruby, former PBA coach and deputy commissioner Tommy Manotoc and Joaqui Trillo, former PBA cager and governor.
When Eala was ousted, the hunt was on for a replacement between marketing man Lambert Ramos versus lawyer Chito Salud, son of former PBA commissioner Rudy Salud and also a lawyer. The voting inside the board room was done over and over again but it always ended in a draw.
Because of the stalemate, the board decided to temporarily install Sonny Barrios as OIC and about two years later, he was permanently replaced by Salud.
Meanwhile, Lambert took a lengthy leave of absence from his marketing job to devote his time to wife Vilma who was sick of cancer. Despite Lambert’s tender love and care, Vilma still succumbed to the Big C, and Lambert is now thinking of pursuing his original calling as a priest.
He is at present taking up Theology at the Loyola School of Theology, preparatory to the priesthood. Would he still be interested in becoming a PBA Commissioner? I must remember to ask him one of these days.
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