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PBA chair upbeat of another robust season

By Dennis Principe

Buoyed by a financially successful 43rd season and having a unified board of governors this time, PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas is looking forward for another productive season.

“By design, we decided to work on issues and the first thing is to support the national team. We were one and we were solid in supporting the national team,” said Vargas. “It affected gate receipts but we took that sacrifice.”

Apart from the 160 million overall earnings by the league last year, Vargas lauded PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial for making an effort to keep the board together which was nearly polarized during the contentious stint of former league chief Chito Narvasa.

“In the board, the commissioner is so well-rounded and knows exactly what’s happening in the ground and he would share that openly with the board,” disclosed Vargas. “Our meetings have become very timely, very open and a lot of sharing that went through. That in itself was a team building process and exercise for all of us.”

While the previous season’s title-contending teams remain as competitive as ever, the league assures a few more are set to step up to the plate and apply gung-ho performances the entire season.

Among the teams to watch are a rejigged NLEX Road Warriors and the NorthPort Batang Pier, two squads that bolstered their roster through the draft and meaningful trades.

The Batang Pier are creating quite a stir after acquiring San Beda stalwart Robert Bolick who is set to form an exciting backcourt pair with MVP frontrunner Stanley Pringle.

The Road Warriors meanwhile finally got its longtime wish of having a legitimate slotman after obtaining JP Erram through a trade and are also set to welcome star guard Kevin Alas who was sidelined 11 months due to an ACL injury.

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