PBA commish a difficult choice | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

PBA commish a difficult choice

/ 11:58 PM April 11, 2015

TO FIGURE out who among the short list of six candidates will be chosen PBA commissioner, a wizened colleague said we first have to know what direction the league will take as a collegial body in the next five to 10 years.

If the vision is to go global, then the PBA could be taking the first step by hiring American Mark Fisher, whom we knew nothing about until his name was included in the short list.

It is unlikely that he had applied for the position. He was probably sought out after the short and long term objectives of the league were discussed by the search committee with the headhunter Rey Canilao of Global Solutions, according to my colleague.


Fisher has impressive credentials. He has worked with NBA Asia Pacific for over a decade and had been based in places like Singapore, Taiwan and China. Fisher is 54.


Challenged a wager, I told a colleague I didn’t think that Fisher would be the next PBA commissioner, even if he is a Harvard grad and holds a thick NBA portfolio. He is also said to be the most qualified among the six candidates.

In the first place, under the new job description, it is not a commissioner’s responsibility to lead the league to global growth. The games are his major turf, his main focus.

The global thing has been turned over to his boss, the Chief Executive Officer.

The commissionership could be considered an entry  point, if the design is to groom him to be the eventual CEO.

Because I vowed never to try to second guess the brilliant think tank of the PBA, I refused to accept my colleague’s wager.

After the six names were announced, I conducted an informal survey. The  fans all clamored for PBA cagers Vince Hizon and the still active Danny Seigle, whose longtime sweetheart Roxanne Prieto was the only female to be considered by Canilao.


Although she wasn’t interested in the job, I understand that Roxanne, who knows her basketball being the granddaughter of former commissioner Leo Prieto, offered some insights and suggestions during the interview.

I was told by highly reliable sources that Chito Narvasa was invited to a second round of talks. The parties failed to reach an agreement.

Narvasa, a former player and coach, is now head of the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines. He is currently president/CEO of a  bank owned  by the Cabangon-Chuas.

I’m not aware of the exact timetable but I was told the short list of six will be further pruned to three, then two.

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Will Fisher be the choice? No one can tell for sure.

TAGS: CEO, league, list, PBA

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