Still no name for top PBA post; Phoenix plans Kia overhaul
Chito Narvasa’s term as the PBA commissioner ends in two days, but the league’s board, which was split in two recently in what was the biggest controversy to rock Asia’s pioneering pro league, is far from naming a new one.
The board actually hasn’t even come close to finalizing a list of candidates.
“We have none,” a member of the board, who spoke on condition that he is not identified, told the Inquirer over the phone on Thursday when asked if they had names that they would want to push as a candidate.
The same source also expressed fear that, with the uncertainty of tenure that every commissioner would have to go through, the board would have a hard time finding a man of unquestionable character who would risk a career in the corporate world to work as commissioner.
“Would you leave your old company where you have a good career and you’re earning a lot to serve as commissioner?” the board member asked as he stressed that he would make a pitch for a longer term once the board convenes for the first time in the post-Narvasa era next month.
He also said that unlike in the past when Narvasa was appointed to the post, the board should not tap the services of a headhunter, and that as a collegial body, the members should come up with the names themselves.
“We could save the league a lot of money if we do it ourselves,” he said.
A separate source two weeks ago, however, said that the names of Rebo Saguisag and Charlie Cuna, lawyers both, had cropped up as the first two in the short list of candidates.
In a related development, Phoenix Petroleum, which is in the process of completing acquisition of Kia as a company, will overhaul the Picanto team in the PBA once the sale is completed and after Phoenix gets the approval from the board for the purchase of the PBA franchise.
“The first order of business for the PBA team is to make it competitive,” said the source, who bared the story on Wednesday after the Fuel Masters walloped the Picanto, 125-102, for their first win under new coach Louie Alas.
“There’s the need to protect the brand name and the only way to do that is to win games,” he said. “Definitely, there will be a major overhaul (in the Kia team) if the sale pushes through.”
The source said that due diligence was being done already and that it would only be a matter of time before the sale was completed.
However, even if Kia wants to sell its PBA franchise to Phoenix, the buyer cannot just assume ownership until after it gets the nod of the board.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine shoots for a second straight win in the eliminations of the Philippine Cup on Friday when the Elasto Painters lock horns with Blackwater at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
Tipoff is at 4:15 p.m. with the Painters hoping to take the momentum of an 82-79 win against the Elite, who played inconsistently in losing to Meralco last week where former player KG Canaleta led the charge with 25 points.
The Texters, on the other hand, try to bounce back from that stinging defeat when they take the floor at 7 p.m. opposite Alaska, another powerhouse whose struggles date back to most of last season.
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