By WAYLON GALVEZ
The applications of Ever Bilena Cosmetics Inc. and Columbia Auto Corporation will be on top of the agenda in today’s meeting of the PBA Board of Governors at the PBA Commissioner’s Office in Libis, Quezon City.
PBA board chairman Ramon Segismundo of Meralco said yesterday that the two companies have already submitted their respective letters of intent to join the PBA.
“It’s in our agenda, so we’ll talk about the two companies as they’ve already sent their letter of intent to join the PBA,” said Segismundo yesterday.
The meeting is scheduled at 12 noon.
A league source said that NLEX, which recently captured its fifth PBA D-League champion after ruling the Aspirant’s Cup, is also interested to join the PBA, but has yet to submit its letter of intent.
NLEX is owned by Manny V. Pangilinan who already has two PBA teams in Talk ‘N Text and Meralco.
Ever Bilena Cosmetics Inc., owned by Dioceldo Sy, is hoping to field Blackwater Sports.
“From the PBA perspective, this will result to a broader base, more fans and excitement to the league. So this is really a very good development for the league,” said Segismundo.
“Aside from that, it will also provide employment for many, many talented Filipino basketball players that we have. This is the direction of the PBA (expansion). As long as logic will prevail, I’m confident that they will (board) welcome them with open arms,” he added.
Applicants, however, will have to go through a tedious process on top of the estimated P100 million franchise fee.
The last team to buy its own franchise (and not an existing one) was Red Bull back in 2000 for P60 million. Mikee Romero’s Sultan 900 Capital Inc. bought an existing PBA franchise when it purchased Powerade for P100 million, which paved the way for the entry of Globalport Batang Pier.
Meanwhile, Segismundo said the board may also discuss the possibility of having Gilas Pilipinas play in the third and final conference of the PBA – the Governors’ Cup – to help the national team prepare for the World Cup in Spain this year.
It was Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Sonny Barrios, a onetime PBA commissioner, who suggested the possibility when Gilas Pilipinas had its first practice session Monday night.
“The important thing is to have a dialogue,” said Segismundo.
“We (at the board) have to identify what the objectives are, and the things that we can do to achieve a common goal,” Segismundo said.