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Narvasa meets PBA referees

Chito NarvasaIncoming PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa Tuesday met with senior members of the PBA pool of referees, along with league operations chief Ricky Santos, and ran through the current game rules and regulations prior to his ceremonial assumption of office within the next few days.

Narvasa was unanimously chosen to take over from PBA commissioner Chito Salud, who stepped down after five years at the end of the 40th season a few weeks ago to become the league’s first president and chief executive officer.

However, although the eldest son of former Supreme Court chief justice Andres Narvasa has been looking into the technical aspects of the PBA – his top priority – since the Governors’ Cup finals between San Miguel Beer and Alaska, taking down notes during games from where he sat with Salud, Santos and media officer Willie Marcial and formulating his initial program, it won’t be until Sunday when the baton will exchange hands.

His ceremonial takeover will take place in Tokyo, Japan during the PBA’s annual planning session with the Board of Governors set Aug. 9-13, simultaneously with San Miguel Beer alternate governor Robert Non’s succession as league chairman after the one-year term of Talk ‘N Text’s Patrick Gregorio.

This early, though, Narvasa is already laying the groundwork for his commissionership.

“We will talk to the coaches one by one in team practice after the PBA rookie draft,” said Narvasa, who coached Shell and then Purefoods from 1995 to 1998. “We’ll find out their sentiments, go back to the office and meet with the referees, and move from there.”

Keeping the communication lines open between the Office of the Commissioner and the coaches, Narvasa said, will go a long way to a better appreciation of the rules and regulations governing the games.

“Kailangan lang e nag-uusap-usap, di ba? Importante yon,” said Narvasa, who will serve as the PBA’s ninth commissioner. “Pupuntahan namin sila sa ensayo; mas maganda yon. Mas malaya silang makakapagsalita.”

The meeting with the veteran officials, operations chief Rickie Santos said, didn’t touch on any specifics.

“Comm. Chito just gave them some sort of an overview of how he perceives officiating on a general basis,” said Santos.

Asked if Narvasa plans to clamp down on the at times overly physical aspect of the game, Santos said no discussion has yet been made on the matter.

“Siguro after the consultation with the coaches, saka pa lang magkakaroon ng pag-uusap about the particulars,” Santos said. “Sa ngayon, wala pa.”