The PBA Board is set to convene in Los Angeles for a critical planning session which would include the fate of embattled commissioner Chito Narvasa. And based on initial reports, it looks like this mess is not looking good.
According to the Philippine Star, there will be three PBA governors no longer joining the trip. They are TNT KaTropa’s Patrick Gregorio, Rain or Shine’s Mert Mondragon and Phoenix Petroleum’s Raymond Zorrilla. The three are part of the seven teams that are not supporting another term for the 55-year-old Narvasa.
While there are plenty on the agenda, the case of Narvasa is standing out. The issue pertaining to the corporate bylaws have been interpreted in conflicting fashion, most paying attention to detail after that controversial trade involving SMB and Kia.
Critics have hit both sides. Narvasa has been hit for allegedly approving the “lopsided” trade while others have termed the action of TnT as bratty. Unable to land Fil-German Standhardinger whom the team was hoping to draft, the sudden backlash has elicited pro and anti-support.
More so, the MVP Group lashed out at Narvasa for name dropping one of their managers, Magnum Membrere. According to ABS-CBN, TnT resented the statement of Narvasa tying up the team official as the one who facilitated the application of Standhardinger.
Also in the report, Membrere was reportedly there as a representative for Smart Gilas and meant to assist the Fil-German with his application for the PBA Draft. The statement of TnT included calling Narvasa as “biased.”
The remaining five teams have called for a truce to fix the issue. However, their efforts may have gone for naught, proof of which is the likely lack of quorum when the board convenes in Los Angeles.
Depending on how one looks at it, the PBA and its fans are the losers at this point. With a divided league, an amicable settlement may be beyond reach. The PBA will re-open on Dec. 17 although a cloud of certainty remains in the air.
Did TnT slip up?
Even before the SMB-Kia trade, TnT was already seen as the front-runner for Standhardinger. Last September, the Manila Bulletin reported that TnT was in the midst of putting up a package that involved their own 2017 first-round pick, the pick they acquired from Phoenix in the Ranidel De Ocampo trade and possibly a couple of players to snag the first overall pick of Picanto.
Further to the report, Standhardinger was seen as the player who would start a new chapter for KaTropa according to a source. Apparently, all that went up in smoke when the Beermen came into the picture.
It was a race for Standhardinger from there. SMB surprising got one over MVP Group and this is where all hell broke loose. So was the fault really Narvasa’s or the TnT representatives?
Regardless, it is clear that Narvasa has placed himself in a dire predicament. The easy way out is for him to step down from his post. The easy money is that he will do so eventually. But that may only occur once he is able to clear his name of being unbiased in making decisions to appease everyone – something that is obviously impossible.