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PBA games in Guam, Dubai up

 

By TITO S. TALAO

 

Ricky Vargas, President of Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP).  (MB file photo)

RICKY Vargas, President of Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP). (MB file photo)

MEMBERS of the PBA Board of Governors flew to Las Vegas yes­terday to hold their annual plan­ning and programming session, a tradition that has acquired a more personal meaning following last season’s tumultuous events in the aftermath of the demand of seven ballclubs that then commissioner Chito Narvasa resign.

Narvasa eventually stepped down but not after former PBA chairman Ricky Vargas interceded and calmed down a boiling internal struggle between the seven teams and five others sympathetic to the former PBA coach had rocked the four-decade-old league, sparking fears of a probable fold-up.

Vargas would eventually take over as chairman, simmering down frazzled nerves. The governors also named media bureau chief Willie Marcial first as acting com­missioner and a short time later as full-pledged head of the PBA.

This will be Marcial’s first stint in the planning session as the league’s leader, a position he sought to sidestep until it was thrust to him by the governors who had looked to put behind them a bitter and ac­rimonious past.

While in previous meetings the PBA board would pick a new chair­man – usually by succession – Vargas, also the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, ap­parently has until December this year in the term he assumed from then NLEX chief Ramoncito Fer­nandez, now with Maynilad Water.

Whether Vargas would seek a fresh mandate – his own – or give way to the order of succession could be up for discussion in Las Vegas although several governors hinted a separate meeting in Ma­nila might be arranged specifically to determine the question.

Dickie Bachmann of the Alaska Aces is the current PBA vice chair­man.

A recent emergency board meeting in Hong Kong has settled many of the issues surrounding the league, including rule changes and formats for the next season.

The regular planning session could then finalize, among others, proposed games in Guam on Oct. 8 and 9 among NLEX, Rain or Shine and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, and another in Dubai in April next year with Barangay Ginebra, Mag­nolia and possibly Alaska.

The league governors are also expected to throw their full sup­port to the Gilas Pilipinas program which, according to reports, will be offered to Asian Games and NLEX coach Yeng Guiao by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan.

Joining the trip are Rene Pardo of Magnolia, Atty. Raymond Zorrilla of Phoenix, Atty. Mert Mondragon of Rain or Shine, Rod Franco of NLEX, Dickie Bachmann of Alaska, Robert Non of San Miguel Beer, Silliman Sy of Blackwater, Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip, Erick Arejola of NorthPort and Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra.

Vargas of Talk ’N Text and Al Panlilio of Meralco are flying to Las Vegas on separate flights.

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