By JONAS TERRADO
Chito Narvasa yesterday tendered his resignation as commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association that signaled the formal end of the impasse that nearly put the 43-year-old professional league on the brink of a permanent split.
The PBA Board of Governors made the announcement before the opening ceremony at the new season at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with TNT KaTropa’s Ricky Vargas leading the group after his sudden appointment as season chairman.
Longtime official Willie Marcial was appointed Officer-In-Charge while the board searches for the 10th commissioner since the PBA opened shop in 1975.
Though Narvasa’s resignation was effective yesterday, Vargas and the rest of the board had asked him to remain at the helm until Dec. 31.
“Now we’re stronger than ever, now we’re stronger together and we will stay like that as we begin the healing process of the PBA. This is all for the fans,” Vargas said.
The development came after a two-month battle that started when seven board members composed of TNT, NLEX, Meralco, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Blackwater and Phoenix voted against extending Narvasa’s reign as commissioner in the aftermath of his decision to allow Kia to send its No. 1 overall pick to San Miguel.
Both beneficiaries, along with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Magnolia and GlobalPort opposed to move which they later described as “whimsical,” before the warring group underwent backchannel meetings as they looked for a compromise.
Apparently, the group was able find common ground, beginning with the change in leadership.
“We reached out to commissioner Narvasa and we made amends for the things that needed to be clarified and work out on his personal hurts in the process,” said Vargas.