TOKYO – PBA billboards along EDSA. Painted ads on buses. Posters in railway transport. Live games on airport televisions and via cable network boxes. A nationwide reintroduction of the league to the public consciousness.
“We’ve long envisioned the PBA to be a way of life among Filipinos,” said incoming PBA chairman Robert Non. “We want to sustain that attitude by giving the fans what they crave for – a more dynamic and vibrant league that’s watched everywhere.”
Non, alternate governor of San Miguel Beer, took over Talk ‘N Text’s Patrick Gregorio, on whose term the PBA came up with several innovations, including the grand inaugural 40th season ceremony at the 55,000-capacity Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, an extensively-researched documentary of the PBA’s four decades and the hiring of Asian imports in the year-ending Governors’ Cup.
“Chairman Pato’s tenure was a success story in the PBA and we’d like to sustain that growth,” said Non, league chairman in 2012 when he sat as board representative of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Meralco Bolts executive Mon Segismundo succeeded Non and laid the grounds for a continuity of plans and programs set in motion during Non’s time while pushing for the implementation of his own projects.
San Miguel alternate governor Ely Capacio was to take over after Segismundo in 2013-14 but suffered a fatal aneurysm that left the SMB post in the board vacant.
Non moved to SMC’s flagship ballclub soon after to fill the void even as the PBA switched his and Gregorio’s positions, allowing the youthful TNT official to ascend from the No. 2 spot to assume the chairmanship last season.
Non has had some discussions with incoming PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa at the NAIA Terminal 2 before departure yesterday morning and again on the Philippine Airlines flight in preparation for the board’s annual planning session.
“Officiating, more or less, was discussed, as well as some other matters he would like to bring up with the board later on,” said Non. “I understand Commissioner Narvasa will be bringing with him a supervisor of referees. Basically he wants to eliminate the gray area in calls. It’s either a foul has been committed or not; di na yung puwedeng meron o wala.”
A “return to the basics,” said Non, will be at the core of his chairmanship, reviving tried-and-tested concepts and ideas that helped the PBA reach record-breaking heights a few years ago and onward.
Narvasa, eldest son of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Andres Narvasa, follows the footsteps of five-year Commissioner Chito Salud, now the league president and chief executive officer.
As the PBA’s ninth commissioner, Narvasa will have his first official function during the PBA Rookie Draft on Aug. 23 at Robinson’s Place in Ermita.
With Non and Narvasa on the flight to Tokyo were vice chairman Erick Arejola of Globalport, Manny Alvarez of Barako Bull, Tom Alvarez of Kia, Dickie Bachmann of Alaska, Rene Pardo of Star Purefoods, Mert Mondragon of Rain or Shine and Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra.
PBA operations chief Rickie Santos said that included in the agenda is the financial report for the past year, the discussion of the format for the 41st season, and plans and programs for the coming year.
The 2015-16 season opens on Oct. 18.