Chito Narvasa is Out as Commissioner. Rickie Santos appointed as OIC
As it turns out, the PBA will have a new commissioner come the league's 43rd season. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
When now unemployed Chito Narvasa decided to approve the obviously questionable trade between the Kia Picanto and the San Miguel Beermen which involved top pick Christian Standhardinger, Narvasa just literally threw himself into the hot seat as that deal alone raised many pairs of eyebrows, especially among team owners.
What made Narvasa get himself in a deeper hole was his recent statement after his eventual approval of the deal which said that it was a team official of Talk N Text who submitted the draft application of Christian Standhardinger on the latter's behalf. That statement was taken negatively by Talk N Text, of course, who through a public statement even called Narvasa "biased" for divulging such information which, TNT thought that the former commissioner used to justify his decision to approve the deal.
Earlier this week, rumors of an impending move led by MVP Group among the PBA team owners, exploded all over the various news outlets, stating that the Kia-SMB deal has moved the majority bloc to convene and agree to either remove Narvasa or offer him a short extension- a decision that would be made during the meeting called by the PBA Board of Governors today.
Basically, it became a number's game. The MVP Group only needed 7 nods from 7 of the 12 PBA teams to remove Narvasa from office. And given the fact that even Alaska owner, Wilfred Uytengsu has openly questioned the deal between Kia and San Miguel, saying that the deal has destroyed the purpose of the draft itself, the MVP Group which TNT belongs to, wouldn't find it hard to gather that number of votes.
After a board meeting that was held at the PBA office in Quezon City, the PBA Board of Governors released a resolution which states that it will not support extending the contract of Chito Narvasa as PBA commissioner.
Boom! Chito Narvasa is OUT!
As expected, the needed number was met as 7 present team representative signed the resolution and surprisingly, none of the 3 SMC teams plus GlobalPort and Kia sent their respective representatives during the said meeting. In effect, Incoming PBA Chairman Ramoncito Fernandez appointed Rickie Santos as officer-in-charge to ensure that league operations will continue and that the 43rd season of the PBA will open on December 17, 2017, as originally scheduled.
Chito Narvasa's removal from office, according to some fans, maybe the first step for the PBA to regain the trust of the fans and the confidence of the team owners. While the approved deal will stay approved until the new commissioner does something about it, OIC Rickie Santos will have his hands full as he will have a big pair of shoes to fill with. While this can be considered as a victory for the MVP Group, what will the SMC teams, along with their allies, do? We can only wait and see as things unfold.