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SMC bloc, allies come to Narvasa's aid

PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa

MANILA, Philippines – In a move that now puts the PBA board at an impasse, San Miguel Beer — representing a bloc that supports embattled commissioner Chito Narvasa — said their group stands behind the PBA’s top executive, denouncing a resolution filed Thursday by their opposing faction not to extend Narvasa’s term.

In a statement titled "Narvasa stays as PBA commissioner," SMB said “rules, not whim, must prevail at all times.”

“Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Narvasa is not going anywhere. This is because the rules, policies and principles that govern the Philippine Basketball Association are on his side,” the statement read.

SMB governor Robert Non reiterated that Narvasa will continue to enjoy the support of the three PBA teams under the San Miguel Corporation — San Miguel, Barangay Ginebra and Star — along with Kia and Globalport.

Non then blasted the group of seven teams — TNT, Meralco, NLEX, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Blackwater and Phoenix Petroleum — which, citing "a loss of confidence" on Narvasa agreed to no longer support an extension of the PBA official's term.

RELATED STORY: 'Loss of confidence' prompts PBA board to let Narvasa go

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“They cannot just act on a whim. What they are doing is not in accordance with our by-laws and constitution,” said the SMB official.

“All five teams – San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Kia and Globalport – stand behind Commissioner Narvasa. He enjoys our full support and we have prevailed upon him to stay and do what is right,” he added.

Non said such move by disgruntled members of the PBA board led by Talk and Text is unauthorized and not binding under the league’s by-laws and constitution.

“These officials do not constitute the majority needed to remove or appoint the commissioner and thereafter, make any changes in the PBA structure, “said Non.

The latest development will likely lead to an intense and passionate discussion as the board visits what the PBA by-laws have to say on “firing” and “hiring” a commissioner.

Apparently both situations require a two-thirds vote or eight votes from the 12 member ball clubs. A sitting commissioner can’t be removed from office by seven PBA teams, and one can’t be hired as commissioner by five ball clubs.

No-show in Thursday’s emergency meeting were representatives from San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra, Star, Kia and GlobalPort.

Apart from practically terminating Narvasa’s term of office, the anti-Narvasa bloc appointed Rickie Santos, the deputy commissioner for operations, as the officer-in-charge that will run the league's daily affairs.

It was a move that also met opposition from Non’s group.

“So without this clear majority, all changes being made by these renegade members are not allowed, including the appointment of Rickie Santos as officer-in-charge, and would not be binding on the whole board membership,” Non said. – With report from Nelson Beltran

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