PBA chairman Ramoncito Fernandez of the NLEX Road Warriors said that communication lines should remain open between the two factions in the hopes of ending the impasse that left the league divided over the leadership dispute.
“Of course, we are all open and searching for a solution,” said Fernandez yesterday in a text message in response to a botched planning session by the PBA Board of Governors in Los Angeles.
Fernandez, TNT’s Ricky Vargas and Pato Gregorio, Raymond Zorilla of Phoenix Fuel and Rain or Shine’s Mamerto Mondragon all missed the US trip due to other commitments, while Meralco’s alternate governor Ryan Gregorio represented Al Panlilio in the annual meeting.
Panlilio, also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), led a delegation that formally presented the country’s bid for the 2023 FIBA World Cup in Geneva, Switzerland.
The board is divided into two groups with the MVP bloc, composed of TNT, Meralco and NLEX, joining forces with Phoenix Fuel, Alaska, Blackwater and Rain or Shine in efforts to force Chito Narvasa to step down as PBA commissioner.
The seven also named Rickie Santos – the league’s deputy commissioner for basketball operations – as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) but the other five teams rejected the proposal as it violated league rules.
Teams from San Miguel Corporation back the other faction with San Miguel, teaming up with Star, Ginebra and Kia and GlobalPort, in a bid to keep Narvasa.
The so-called Group of 5 maintains that a two-thirds vote or eight out of 12 board members is needed for a decision to be reached, not just a mere majority.
Two weeks back, the seven teams withdrew its support for Narvasa after he approved the trade between Kia and SMB for the former’s No. 1 pick, which the Beermen used to select Fil-German Christian Standhardinger.