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PBA settles lottery issue

Chito Salud

Manila, Philippines – In the hopes of ironing out issues on the controversial lottery draft, the Philippine Basketball Association Board of Governors has accepted the apology of PBA commissioner Chito Salud and vowed to make necessary improvements on the process.

The board held an emergency meeting at the Smart Araneta Coliseum about 30 minutes before the PBA Annual Leo Awards and emerged with a unanimous decision to put aside all questions.

“We listened to the issues raised by Rain or Shine thru (board member) Atty. Mamerto Mondragon and we also talked about the formal apology of Commissioner Chito Salud,” said Talk ’N Text’s Patrick Gregorio, the incoming board chairman.

“We have decided to do the following: The PBA board and PBA ManCom (management committee) will immediately review the procedure of the lottery draw and the (rookie) draft in August so we can avoid this issue.

“The Rain or Shine representative has accepted the apology of Commissioner Salud and the PBA board accepts that apology as well. We’ll be supporting the good commissioner in his efforts to really improve the PBA as we celebrate our 40th anniversary (next season),” he added.

With the exception of board chairman Ramon Segismundo of Meralco, who is in Singapore, and Air21’s Lito Alvarez, all members of the board attended the meeting which Gregorio presided.

A redraw will not be ordered by the board, according to Gregorio.

“It was a free-wheeling discussion, but we confronted the issue right away,” said Gregorio.

“The governors pointed out the lapse, and we acknowledged that. Immediate attention will be given so that we can really address the issues raised by Rain or Shine. We were one in saying that we really need to improve this procedure,” added Gregorio.

Meanwhile, Segismundo issued a clarification on an earlier statement he made referring to the lottery issue as a “non-event” and “no big deal,” remarks that reportedly angered RoS team owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu.

“I wish to clarify my position regarding the PBA draft pick lottery incident. I recognize the right of ROS to question the process and the manner it was conducted. We learned from their valuable feedback and we will work on improvements immediately,” Segismundo said.

“I have the highest respect for ROS and its owners Raymund and Terry and my colleague Gov. Mert (Mondragon) and value their contributions to the betterment of the league.” (Waylon Galvez)