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PBA commish resigns; Vargas chairman

Ricky Vargas
 

MANILA, Philippines — Shortly before the opener of PBA Season 43, the PBA crisis came to an end with the resignation of commissioner Chito Narvasa and the appointment of PBA external afffairs and media bureau chief Willie Marcial as officer-in-charge and MVP/PLDT Group top official Ricky Vargas as league chairman.

The board’s acceptance of Narvasa’s resignation as commissioner ended the two- month standoff between the two opposing blocs in the league board and paved the way for efforts to bind the wounds and put the league back on the road.

“We’re stronger, and we look forward to a fruitful 43rd season,” said Vargas after announcing the resolution that put closure to the board standoff on the tenure of Narvasa as the league’s ninth commissioner.

Vargas and all the other PBA governors faced the sports media and announced the breakthrough before gracing the opening rites of the 2017-18 season.

“We reached out to commissioner Narvasa. We made amends for things that needed to be clarified and worked out on his personal hurt in the process,” said Vargas.

“As a result, he submitted his resignation, thanking the PBA, and the PBA thanking him for his contribution to the league,” Vargas added.

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Narvasa, however, is staying in office until Dec. 31 to help the league during the transition period.

PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas waves to fans as he is joined by other members of the Board of Governors during the opening of the 2017-18 PBA season last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Also with the 12-member board are outgoing PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa (back, right) and PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial (back, third from right). The pro league’s season opened with the parade of teams and muses, followed immediately with the season opener pitting San Miguel Beer against Phoenix. Joey Mendoza

And while the league runs a search process for a new commissioner, Marcial runs the affairs of the league as OIC.

Vargas cited Barangay Ginebra’s Alfrancis Chua, Kia’s Bobby Rosales, TNT KaTropa’s Patrick Gregorio and Meralco’s Al Panlilio for key roles they played in the resolution of the impasse.

“I’d like to thank some people who made us stronger; who never gave up when we’re in crisis,” said Vargas.

 “Alfrancis Chua was always there looking for the solution, Bobby Rosales never gave up, Al Panlilio was always beside me as we worked for the resolution and Pato Gregorio used his magic to reach an agreement between two parties,” Vargas pointed out.

On the heels of Narvasa’s approval of the SMB-Kia trade that eventually sent marquee Fil-German player Christian Standhardinger to San Miguel, governors of TNT KaTropa, Meralco, NLEX, Rain or Shine, Blackwater, Alaska Milk and Phoenix Petroleum sought for the commissioner’s dismissal.

San Miguel Beer, Ginebra, Magnolia (Star), Kia and GlobalPort, meanwhile, dissented.

To help resolve the problem, Vargas agreed to reassume the league chairmanship he occupied in 2010.

“I guess you’re wondering why I’m here. I was gone for seven years. NLEX graciously gave up its turn and swapped with TNT its turn in the succession,” said Vargas of the decision of NLEX, which was supposed to succeed GlobalPort.

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