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It’s congratulations, PBA!

/ 04:04 AM February 05, 2020

The Philippine Basketball was very critical, a poor patient in acute need of a do-or-die surgery three years ago.

That exclusive information was courtesy of the veteran sports journalist Joaquin Henson.

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Henson wrote in his column yesterday: “Not too many fans know it, but the PBA was in crisis, the league nearly went under. One bloc was ready to start a new league of its own, leaving the other faction with a fragmented PBA on the brink of destruction.”

So how was the PBA saved?

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“Chairman Ricky Vargas got the Board back on its track, unified the conflicted elements,” Henson said.

————————-As simple as that?

No, Henson said. Vargas worked for the appointment of Willie Marcial, a former statistics trainee, as PBA commissioner.

It was indeed a stunner, but with the unheralded Marcial running the show, order was restored in the league.

Now, the PBA is on the path to usher in a new Golden Era.

————————-Marcial’s term extension was formalized during the planning session of PBA Board of Governors in Milan, Italy, last week.

Explained Vargas: “Marcial is grounded, hardworking, inclusive and has a collegial conflict resolution and has a decision-making process.”

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Vargas said Marcial has the league at heart.

“He has the feel of the fans, respects the players and has the humility of a leader.”

————————-Marcial, 58, was named PBA officer in charge when Chito Narvasa resigned on Dec. 31, 2017. He was appointed commissioner on Jan. 25, 2018.

Marcial plodded from the bottom, designed a referee’s stats sheet—noting down every call, and other pertinent conditions. When presented the stats sheet, the head of the PBA supervisor of officials found it very relevant.

Marcial was next appointed as statistics trainee.

Explained Henson: “From bringing out numbers, Marcial metamorphosed into a floor director then was appointed media bureau chief and special assistant to the commissioner in 2003.

“A doctor’s son, Marcial developed a special relationship with team owners, players, coaches, league officials, staff and fans, like a physician with his patients,” Henson continued.

Marcial worked under every commissioner in the PBA’s history. In short, he knew what it was to steer the pro league through smooth and troubled times.

How lucky can the PBA get! INQ

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