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PBA approves sale of Barako to Phoenix

The PBA is now set to welcome Phoenix Petroleum as its newest member in next month’s Commissioner’s Cup.

This after the league board unanimously approved the franchise sale of Barako Bull to Phoenix Fuel after a special meeting yesterday at the Commissioner’s Office in Libis, Quezon City.

The decision came after news leaked that the two sides already agreed on a deal, making the Davao-based firm the newest member of Asia’s first professional league.

“The board unanimously agreed that Phoenix Petroleum is financially capable of maintaining a team in the PBA. So hindi naging mahirap yung desisyon,” said PBA board chairman Robert Non of San Miguel Beer.

According to Non, the special meeting was requested by Barako Bull’s team representative to the board Manny Mendoza. The meeting lasted for about an hour and a half.

Officials of Phoenix have been invited to attend the next regular board meeting scheduled January 28 at the league’s headquarters to formally take over as the new member of the PBA.

Phoenix will be taking over the team owned by customs chief Bert Lina, head of the Linaheim Services Inc.

Citing various reliable sources, Manila Bulletin reported the sale of Barako Bull to Phoenix in an article last January 14, completing an agreement for the second time, or since 2011 when the two sides first had an original deal.

The board, however, rejected that deal and the franchise sale did not push through after San Miguel Corporation (SMC) invoked a league rule of competing brands after the company decided to change name one of its three teams, replacing San Miguel with Petron prior to the 2011-12 Season.

The upcoming Commissioner’s Cup is set to open February 10.