New PBA commish Narvasa wants 'order' in league
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran ( - August 12, 2015 - 8:35pm

TOKYO – “I will put order in the court.”

Quoting his father, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Andres Narvasa, new PBA commissioner Chito promised to do the same thing as he takes the reign in game officiating in the pro league starting Season 41 that opens Oct. 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

 “I will be fair but I will also be firm,” said Narvasa in running the games as the ninth PBA commissioner after Leo Prieto, Mariano Yenko, Rudy Salud, Rey Marquez, Jun Bernardino, Noli Eala, Sonny Barrios and Chito Salud.

As the new PBA commissioner, Narvasa appointed Rickie Santos as deputy commissioner and brought along Pacita Dobles as executive assistant.

The first former player and coach to assume the PBA commissionership, Narvasa is hopeful he can put order in the playing court with guidelines crafted by him and all the PBA coaches.

“It’s not me alone. The coaches, the players and teams will be more involved. How it’s going to be done? We have plans. I will explore that with the coaches,” he said.

“We will work hand in hand. I will work hand in hand with the teams. It’s going to be rough going, of course. But if they’re involved, they will understand,” he also said. “And it will be a continuing process. If they think there’s still room for improvement, let’s improve. If they think something is missing, we’ll talk to them to get their approval.”

The basic officiating guideline Narvasa has in mind is taking away the referees’ discretion.

“You make a call or not. No judgment call. Judgment call is whether you make a call or not. It’s a lot easier to see later on, allow me some time,” he said, hopeful PBA games will be more exciting. “It will still be physical but not a wrestling match.”

With everybody on board in officiating, Narvasa expects complaining on calls will be less than before.

“If we agree on something to help each other, (complaining) will be much less. You’ll see the effort on my part. If you see that effort is not enough, just let me know. Let’s help each other. You help me and I will help you. Eventually that will be addressed,” he said.

He stressed he’ll put order in the playing court.

“Can you imagine the referees, just three and without relief for 48 minutes. A coach we’ll talk to him, then the assistant coach, the 12 players and even the ball boy. Then comes the governor. It shouldn’t be done. There has to be some order restored,” he pointed out.

“All the coaches are my friends and they know me. They know I will do it. I will spare no one,” said the former Ateneo stalwart with his PBA coaching stints with Shell and Purefoods.

He is confident he can deal with the fieriest and feistiest, mentioning coach Yeng Guiao, who is a longtime friend.

“We’ve talked. He told me ‘do what you have to do and I’ll do what I have to do.’ Pero sabi pa niya, asahan mo tutulungan pa rin kita,” Narvasa said.

He said he’ll also be firm in dealing with player trades.

“Before we make any decision, I want to see all the papers in front of me, the facts, agreements. And I want to see the lineups, end results for both,” he said.

“I guess all the teams know my responsibility is to take care of the PBA. That’s the first priority then later on the teams. Right now I want to see Kia and Blackwater to get better (to improve the competitive balance of the league),” he added.

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