Mendoza: MVP revives big dream of NBA ownership

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Sunday, December 30, 2012

IF REPORTS are to be believed, the move by a Filipino to invest in the National Basketball Association in the USA has been revived.

Torpedoed in the past due to the astronomical amount of money needed to get into the NBA, the make-it-to-the-NBA dream was floated anew by its original dreamer: Manny V. Pangilinan.

Known simply as MVP to those close to him, Pangilinan was reportedly zeroing in on “acquiring a minority stake” in an NBA team.


No Filipino has ever entered into a business venture in the world’s No. 1 professional basketball tournament.
MVP tried it last year when he offered to buy shares at the then beleaguered Sacramento Kings of California.

But talks fell through when MVP found the required money needed for a major investment opportunity “too much.”
He aborted the plan but made a promise that he will “try again” in the future.

Recently, reports are rife that MVP, who owns PLDT and Meralco among many giant companies that he controls, has set his sights anew at the NBA. But this time, he would only enter “through the fringes.”

“There are actually opportunities for five- to 10-percent stakes in some teams [in the NBA],” MVP was quoted as saying. “Although we haven’t made any agreement yet, one of these days, I think we will.”
He said he was still sticking to his old plan of totally abandoning the idea of acquiring a majority stake in the NBA and, instead, “we may initially settle on being minority shareholders.”

Asked why he did a U-Turn and decided to reopen talks about joining the NBA, MVP said: “We want to learn, how they run those teams. There are a lot of proposals.”
So very wealthy already and he still wants to learn?

Well, most successful people are like that. They always yearn for more knowledge, if not more money.

MVP, who owns Meralco and Talk ‘N Text in the PBA, said he would prefer buying into NBA teams playing in the West Coast, like 2011 NBA runner-up Oklahoma City Thunder and the popular Los Angeles Lakers.
If MVP succeeds in his NBA venture, I won’t be surprised. He has always been known as the man with the Midas touch.
Happy New Year!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 31, 2012.


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