Yesterday's crowd was an indication of the fans' displeasure towards the league
(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
The PBA is back, ladies and gentlemen!
After a week of uncertainties which regards to whether or not we will get to witness the opening of the 43rd season of the league- on schedule, the PBA is back, folks. But, it didn't start without drama, of course.
Just minutes prior to the opening ceremony, all 12 board members, led by PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas, held a press conference to announce that soon-to-be-ex PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa has submitted his resignation but will be staying in office until the end of December to help during the transition.
Then, came along the opening ceremony which featured some of the most beautiful ladies in the land as muses of the teams led by 2017 Miss World Philippines, Laura Lauhmann who was the chosen muse of the Talk N Text Ka Tropa. Then, the 12 team governors came to the center court to unveil the trophy that will be hosted by the champions of this conference come the Finals.
Then, the main event came around as the San Miguel Beermen opened their title defense against the newly-reloaded Phoenix Fuel Masters who also have a new coach in Louie Alas. While the Fuel Masters managed to even take the lead during the early moments of the first half, the Beermen showed why they are the defending champions and probably, the best all-Filipino team that was assembled as they went on to win, 104-96.
While the game showed glimpses of what we can expect from the Fuel Masters, most especially from the rookie, Jason Perkins who had 10 points and 9 rebounds, the game also featured a notably high number of unoccupied seats around the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Some pundits thought that the low attendance during the league's opening night game is one of the clear indications that PBA fans are no longer ignited by the way the league was operated during the last couple of seasons. And whether we like it or not, part of that lack of excitement from fans is the issue that has been raised for the longest time: inconsistency on the part of the referees. Although there are other possible reasons as to why there were many unoccupied seats last night, the league should take this low attendance seriously. They should listen to the fans.
Who knows? The resignation of Chito Narvasa MIGHT be the start of a new beginning for the PBA. If anything, the league has a lot of works to do if they intend to get back the excitement of the fans towards the PBA and changing commissioner is only a small step towards achieving that goal.