My five cents’ worth
WHEN the news first broke out that Kia Motors will trade their expected first round draft pick Fil-German Christian Standhardinger to powerhouse team San Miguel Corporation for three unheralded players, a lot of eyebrows were raised and a number of questions asked, number one question being why.
And when Narvasa tried to explain his side, supported by new team Kia manager Joe Lipa, the rationalization resulted in more negative comments from basketball fans saying it was not fair that a team as strong as the Beermen would become even stronger in the next season.
Personally, I also could not understand the explanation of Joe when he said Kia would like to play an unconventional style of basketball without star players and instead make-do with hungry players.
After all, the essence of the draft in the PBA was to correct imbalances and move towards parity among the teams. This was the offshoot a long time ago of the Crispa-Toyota duel in the early years of the PBA with all good players from the amateur ranks getting snaked by either of the two teams.
So much so that there was even a ruling prohibiting two starting centers playing for the same team with the likes of Mon Fernandez, Abet Guidaben, Abe King, and Manny Victorino among those I remember being named, and it seemed to have worked as other teams started to win with better talents.
And for many basketball fans, this is the crux of the matter in the present situation in the PBA.
Of course, there were those who said there was nothing with the trade as it is the right of teams to trade their players and when one talks of legalities, yes, teams do have that right.
And I will state my side on this, that for me, the league exists because of basketball fans and that should be the bigger right, and yes, you can disagree with me.
And that was the tame part it turned out because what followed after the trade was consummated between the two teams as approved by PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa , was a storm of comments in the social media.
More criticisms than positive ones believe me, with Narvasa in the center, and it was not long before the news broke out that the PBA Board, at least seven of them had decided not to renew Narvasa’s contract.
This was in a face to face meeting between Narvasa and team representatives from the MVP Group , NLEX, TNT, and Meralco, together with the independent teams Alaska, Phoenix, Rain or Shine, and Blackwater.
The meeting was tense and according to Quinito Henson, it ended up with Narvasa leaving the venue without even eating what he ordered for lunch after he was told by the group that they have lost confidence in Narvasa's management of the PBA as Commissioner.
Just as an aside, I have worked for a long time in the corporate world, mainly on HR work, and one of the basic jobs that faces HR practitioners is terminating people, under the labor code, when it comes to managerial employees, a company may end his employment on this basis, loss of confidence. But of course, there should be something to base this on.
But since it was not revealed as to what was the basis for the reason, Narvasa, the lawyer that he is, opposed the move saying it would have been acceptable to him, having been a corporate guy too, to accept a decision of management, but questioned the process, claiming that he will not go as he is fighting for principles.
Among the names were those of Robert Jaworski, Atoy Co, Joe Lipa, Ed Cordero, Chito Loyzaga, Joaqui Trillo, Paeng Nepomuceno, all with supporters and protesters on both sides.
And you know the name that came to my mind, Jolly Gomez, the former PSC commissioner who for me meets the requirements for the position.
Number one of which is to be able to stand up to the team owners, a management background including the marketing side, and the pedigree that will merit respect from the league and the fans. I am not his fan but then I have not worked in HR for nothing when it comes to choosing people for key positions, though I admit it is too early for this as this as Narvasa remains the Commissioner.
This was followed by a statement issued by the remaining clubs allied with the SMB bloc of San Miguel, Ginebra, and Purefoods-Star, and of course Kia Motors, plus Global Port, a 7 vs 5 match up between the two groups.
It was strong statement. too. including describing the other group's decision as whimsical and that it holds no water as replacing the PBA Commissioner needs a 2/3 vote.
Bbut then if the decision is not to renew Narvasa's contract when it runs out, then the 2/3 vote does not apply I think and instead, it will boil down to a PBA board decision, where I believe in turn it is the majority decision that will prevail.
And if so, the MVP group has the edge in number.
This situation for me in the PBA is one of the worst crisis for the league as there is now a definite division of the house and both on the offensive, and you know how it goes in the jungle, when elephants battle, the whole jungle trembles, and let us face it, the fight is between the SMC and the MVP groups.
Now how they will be able to resolve this without more secrets emerging in the open and that will hurt the PBA more, the better it will be.
Otherwise, are we seeing the end of the league, I certainly hope not.