Unceremonious JB Baylon exit
Until I saw a footage of the postfight riot in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I had no idea how terrifying, violent and precarious the actual situation was when boxing fans attacked Filipino boxer Johnriel Casimero and other officials in the ring.
Among other injuries, the riot left Casimero’s cornerman Sean Gibbons with broken ribs and referee Eddie Claudio with busted lips. The riot was sparked by Claudio’s stoppage of the fight in the 10th round and declaring Casimero the winner of the IBF interim flyweight championship.
The fighter from Ormoc, Leyte admitted he thought he would not get out of the Club Once Unidos alive.
“I thought it was my end. I felt like I was dying in that cramped space under the ring,” Casimero said on national television upon his return to his hometown.
Casimero and his team had left Buenos Aires in a huff following the harrowing experience, leaving behind his hard-earned championship belt which could not be awarded because of the post-fight riot.
Instead, Sampson Lewkovitch, well known international matchmaker/promoter and partner of Casimero’s manager Sammy Gello-ani, will deliver the belt to the champion here on March 7.
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An anonymous text message was sent to me yesterday morning.
The message, which was very long it had to be sent in four installments, revealed and confirmed certain reports about Coca-Cola, specifically about its involvement in the PBA.
The information sounded entirely accurate, although I have yet to double check its veracity from direct sources.
Like PBA vice chair JB Baylon, for example, who I absolutely had no communication with since news of the controversial sale of Coke’s PBA franchise broke out.
The trouble is the mysterious SMS had said that JB has been asked by Coke president and CEO William Schultz to resign from his post in the multinational company which, ironically, is observing its centennial year in the Philippines this year.
This goes without saying that JB, who is next in line as PBA chair, will no longer be Coke’s representative to the PBA Board of Governors.
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“Good morning Ms. Beth. How can Coca-Cola be so insensitive? Bill Schultz has written PBA commissioner Chito Salud, informing him that JB is no longer Coke’s representative to the PBA board effective immediately,” the opener of the text message read.
“JB’s last day in Coke is on Feb. 29. What you wrote in your last column is true. P100 million was paid to Schultz for the Coke franchise first week of January. I think what should be questioned is Coke’s corporate governance.”
At this point, I realized that I will have to review some of the subjects I took in business administration to better comprehend some of the terminologies texted to me.
To continue: “Coke is doing insider trading (Is this the sophisticated phrase used to describe the Marcio Lassiter-Nonoy Baclao trade?)
“Very serious governance issue. Schultz is so indifferent. To think they’re saying, ‘100 years of happiness in the Philippines.’ Wow, what a way to celebrate their centennial … They abandoned the PBA, they fired the league’s vice chair.”
According to the texter, Coke’s sense of timing was most unsound. “They could have planned their exit better, with a modicum of preparation. Maybe after their centennial campaign in the Philippines. Better yet, after JB’s chairmanship in the PBA. What’s another year? My heart really bleeds for him.”
The PBA board meets Monday in an effort to resolve the Coke issue.
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Our congratulations to the De La Salle University Lady Archers who recently clinched the Dickies Cup title of the Filipino-Chinese Basketball League (FCBL) over Lyceum, 59-43. The team is mentored by Tyrone Bautista.
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