Cage execs show mixed reactions on PBA's current state

source: Rey Joble | gmanews.tv

Is the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) a tired and old league? Former Philippine Basketball League (PBL) commissioner and ex-PBA sports commentator Chino Trinidad certainly thinks so.

"It doesn't matter if the PBA will have a two-conference or three-conference format next season, but it really needs to reinvent its identity because it looks like a tired and old league with only Ginebra as the one being consistently followed," Trinidad told GMANews.TV.


Trinidad, who succeeded Yeng Guiao and became commissioner of the PBL for nearly a decade before going back to his old profession as a sportscaster/reporter, also added that it's about time the PBA board should delegate more of its powers to the incoming commissioner, Atty. Chito Salud.

"It looks like the middle managers are the ones running the show in the PBA and these guys who are also the members of the board have clipped the commissioner's power. If this will continue, this will lead to chaos," added Trinidad.

But Guiao, Trinidad's predecessor, believes the PBA's current set up, wherein the board should be the ones making policies and the commissioner overseeing the operations of the league, is the ideal one.

"I think it's the ideal one. It's almost basically the same when I was commissioner of the PBL," said Guiao. "The board makes policies and the commissioner oversees the operation of the league."

"The board works in the front office of their respective basketball teams and that's the reason why they represent their teams in the board. Now, in terms of making policy decisions, the commissioner should be included while the board will also deliberate important matters. I think this set up is an ideal one," added Guiao.

PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios and B-Meg Derby Ace coach Ryan Gregorio believe the PBA is alive and kicking as proven by the pair of knockout matches in the quarterfinals.

"I was overwhelmed by the 21,000-plus who came here and watched Game 5 of the quarterfinal series between B-Meg Derby Ace and Rain or Shine as well as the match between Alaska and Barangay Ginebra and both matches ended in a cardiac affair," said Barrios. "This goes to show that the PBA is not a dying league, contrary to what other people think."

Gregorio agreed with the commissioner's point of view.

"I don't think the PBA is dying," said Gregorio. "The fans who came here to watch are not merely Ginebra fans, but those were the fans who came to watch good quality basketball. In fact, you can see several fans crying when their teams got eliminated. And to me, that goes to show the passion of these fans who came to the PBA."

Highs and lows in the PBA

Jay P. Mercado, a basketball historian and a resident writer of MYPBA.com, believes the PBA is still the leading sports entertainment in the country.

"Perhaps, the only rival of the PBA are the telenovelas shown on the big networks. The league just needs to be repackaged," said Mercado, who also works as a human resources manager in one of the leading fast-food chains in the country.

"But I don't see anybody there who will compete with the PBA as the country's sports entertainment. The UAAP, because of Ateneo and La Salle, has its own share of followers, but it's only in the metropolis and these teams have specific target audience."

"But do we expect fans from remote areas, say like in Tondo to follow La Salle and Ateneo? Or what about in provinces? I mean, these people would care to watch the PBA where their heroes are playing. These people would care to talk about a PBA game during drinking sessions," he added.

For an institution like the PBA, the league has its highs and lows.

"Ironically, the PBA were having the highs in gate attendance at a time when the league was having its lowest number of participants. In 1986, the league was in danger of having only five competing teams as San Miguel took a leave of absence, but Alaska came in at a perfect time to make it a six-team field," said Mercado.

"The period of 1986 to 1989 wherein the influx of new talents came like Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, Allan Caidic, Alvin Patrimonio, Benjie Paras, Jerry CodiƱera, Jojo Latimosa, Nelson Asaytono and Dindo Pumaren, the All-Star Game that saw Robert Jaworski and Mon Fernandez conniving for one brilliant play and ending a long feud and rivalries that were born outside of the Crispa-Toyota rivalry, was the highest point in the PBA," he added.

Barrios, who has been around since the time of then commissioner Rudy Salud, added that the PBA had an all-time high in TV franchise worth P230-million when Bobong Velez's Vintage Sports were airing the games.

"That was during the mid-90s before the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997," added Barrios.

Mercado, on the other hand, mentioned the Fil-Sham and drug scandal as the issues that sent the league to its lowest. by Rey Joble | GMANews.TV

READ MORE...






Download POWCAST toolbar

Want to Earn Extra Cash

Increase traffic to your site now!

Traffic G

Link Referral

Link Reviewer