Trumpy Times in the PBA

The PBA Commissioner is under attack at the moment.


Or ex-PBA Commissioner?


If Chito Narvasa is Donald Trump… then SMC is probably Russia.


I guess this all started when San Miguel got even more powerful as if they are Olympus gods to Kia’s Olympus discards.


But why?


I guess the MVP group and more than sixty percent of the league owners thought Narvasa didn’t handle the Standhardinger pick well. Hey, I agree. If you look at one of my articles, I thought they could get away with either Ronald Tubid or Yancy de Ocampo (not Jay-R Reyes) but they have to pad the deal with at least David Semerad, Brian Heruela, or Vonn Pessumal. Kia needs assets and it’s impossible for them to have it with a couple of 30-somethings and a seldom used winger. As mentioned in my previous blog, for as long as San Miguel continues to book a finals spot, then teams are better off getting an early second round pick than SMB’s first rounder.


But hey, Kia exercised its right to choose and they chose San Miguel over TNT. Fine. If Kia wants a shitty deal, we live in a country that will let them choose shitty deals. However, Narvasa tried to deflect the blame by exposing Magnum Membrere as the one who brought Standhardinger’s papers to the league office. Narvasa encouraged Standhardinger to play in the PBA during one of their international tiffs and Membrere acted as a friend when he brought the papers to the league office.


First of all, I would like to know who brought Jeremiah dela Pena’s papers… so I can ask that guy to not bring it so the man can escape the humiliation.


And then, why is it that Narvasa carefully laid the trade talks and carelessly brought the Standhardinger application to the mix? If you check the transcripts or the script of his fair arbitration with the two parties, it felt as if he’s the hero of that rational transaction.


The MVP Group is a believable threat if you look at it. The triumvirate of TNT, Meralco, and NLEX are the only collective to play the same rules as with the SMC Group. To keeps things in perspective, Alaska streamlined their lineup because they are amazingly stingy when it comes to under the table deals. And this is good… mind you. But while I am not saying the two “big market” groups concoct shady practices, I do believe they are most capable.


And apart from rivalling the SMC Group in terms of league dominance, ESPN5 is the only channel on free TV that can tolerate the league’s weird and wacky broadcast dates. The top two networks will not broadcast their games live at the expense of their primetime dramas and the rest of the channels doesn’t have the proper equipment to bring to technology to the games. If the league veers away from free TV to broadcast via cable or the internet, it takes away the core audience outside Luzon. If you check out Sports5’s YouTube channel, it says there that 382,000 fans viewed the seventh game of the Governors’ Cup Finals. While the numbers are commendable, it’s better to have multiple outlets.


And then on an international scale, MVP funds Gilas Pilipinas – probably the most successful Philippine basketball campaign in FIBA since the days of Caloy Loyzaga. Sure, we have yet to reach the Olympics but just imagine if we had the proper starpower at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship?


But that’s the thing – anything the MVP Group is doing… came about from the path opened by the SMC Group. Since 1975, the league flourished and struggled with at least a SMC squad in the mix.


And it’s not like the MVP Group will leave the PBA to create another league. Hell no. The reason why Manny Pangilinan invest time in basketball-related sorties is for them to profit. In some ways, being part of the MVP group alienates big money ads. I mean… what about those crappy sock, chicken vitamins, fungal cream, and paint ads?!?


And it’s not like MVP isn’t fallible. In fact, you can say that the reason why Bobby Ray Parks is still in the PBA is because the group wants Parks to stay away from the SMC.


So with that, we bid Narvasa’s commissionership adieu.


Or is he?


Right now the league is divided to two factions: the San Miguel trio, GlobalPort, and Kia… and the MVP teams with Alaska, Blackwater, Phoenix, and Rain or Shine. Could this mean the exclusions of June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, and Terrence Romeo to Gilas Pilipinas?


I guess the MVP alliance are the democrats in this situation?


And at the moment Chito Narvasa is sticking to his spot because he knows for as long as he is backed by the SMC side, he will not go down without a fight. I know he doesn’t have the powers of X-Men’s Storm but Narvasa likes to control his environment. He fine a player for arguing a call but he wouldn’t impose sanctions to Alfrancis Chua even if the latter was caught on camera vaping on his team’s bench.  This is the guy who almost banned Ivan Johnson for life out of anger and sans process.


When asked if he intends to step down, Narvasa stated “I know who my bosses are. If eight tell me to leave, I will leave.”


You can agree or disagree with his choices but the guy is damn ballsy.


But if Narvasa knows what’s good for business and he’s willing to sacrifice his spot for the good of Philippine basketball, then why is he still clinging to his spot like he’s lost without it? Maybe he can cede his spot to OIC Rickie Santos and challenge a host of others to get back his spot. If he’s able to win back his spot, then all of his haters can just kiss his ass.


The harder the hold, the more it hits the ego.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s