Former Ginebra teammates Sonny Jaworski and Chito Loyzaga and a few marquee names have been mentioned as candidates to land the job that will soon be vacated by PBA commissioner Chito Salud, a league insider disclosed.
As the search begins to find a replacement for Salud, who will step down at the end of the season, the names of Jaworski and Loyzaga, who played together in the 1990s, and former league chairmen Lito Alvarez, Buddy Encarnado and JB Baylon, floated during a special board meeting Sunday.
Bobby Barreiro, formerly of TV5, was also mentioned as a candidate although a specific guideline has not been established in the selection of the next PBA head.
“These names were mentioned, but it’s not yet final because the board will still formulate the criteria in choosing the candidates for the next commissioner,” said the source yesterday who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.
PBA board Chairman Pato Gregorio said that the board would meet anew on Feb. 26 to determine the guidelines in choosing the next league chief.
The 68-year-old Jaworski’s career spanned three decades as a player and coach with Toyota and Barangay Ginebra.
Loyzaga, 56, son of basketball great Caloy Loyzaga, worked as commissioner of the now-defunct MBA before serving as commissioner in the PSC.
Alvarez and Encarnado served as commissioner for one full season before their respective teams were sold to new franchises, as Air21 of Alvarez was purchased by NLEX last year while Meralco bought Sta. Lucia Realty back in 2010.
Baylon, on the other hand, did not finish his term as chairman as he stepped down following rumors of disbandment of Powerade, which was eventually sold to the Globalport franchise of Mikee Romero.
As for Barreiro, he helped in finalizing the partnership of the PBA and the TV network owned by Manny V. Pangilinan, who also owns NLEX, Meralco and Talk ’N Text teams.
The source said that interested individuals may also apply for the PBA commissionership, but the application should be based in the criteria that will be formed by the board.
The board, composed of 12 members representing the 12 teams in the PBA, a candidate must get the needed two-thirds vote from the board to determine the next commissioner of the league.
Gregorio already said that they intend to finalize this matter and name the next commissioner before the end of the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup to give the new league chief and Salud transition time.
The 52-year-old Salud said in the press conference that he feels that it’s time for him to step down as commissioner of the PBA after five years of service.
“With due and respectful notice to our team owners and board of governors, I have decided to step down and relinquish my position as PBA commissioner at the end of this season,” said Salud.
“After five years as commissioner, I believe the time is right to pass the baton to a new and fresh leadership, a fresh face with afresh voice and fresh ideas that will take the league to greater heights,” Salud added.