THANKS to YouTube, an entire 48-minute NBA game can be summarized in a few moments. For 5:25 minutes yesterday, I watched LeBron James score 57 points. He’s mad. He won’t let the Cavs lose five times in a row. He wants to lead his teammates by showing them to rise above adversity. And just as LeBron is basketball’s most dominating force, his ex-teammate Kyrie Irving is becoming the solo star that he’s envisioned to be. After losing their first two games (and Gordon Hayward in their first outing), Boston has won seven straight. Adversity does not weaken LeBron and Kyrie. As C.S. Lewis once said: “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
PBA. If I were PBA Commissioner Andres “Chito” Narvasa, I would resign. If seven of the 12 league owners ask you to step down because of loss of confidence, then you need to listen to their sentiments. Unfortunately, the PBA rule states that two-thirds (or at least eight teams) have to band together before a major decision is enacted. The group of Manny Pangilinan is one short. It’s 7 vs. 5. This fight has revealed two factions: the San Miguel bloc against the MVP & Co. clan.
Following this drama the last few days has been captivating. The MVP/PLDT-led group met last Thursday and quickly issued a formal statement “ousting” Narvasa. Ramoncito Fernandez of NLEX, the incoming PBA board chairman, said, “Regrettably Narvasa, in clinging to the position, is using the current situation to divide the board to the detriment of the PBA and the public.”
Fernandez continued: “If the commissioner really loves the PBA and the public as he conveniently espouses, he may make the supreme sacrifice of voluntarily stepping down to prevent a division of the board and stalled basketball operations. Maybe with his ultimate sacrifice the public will forget the past and give honor to his act of leaving the post.”
Out of delicadeza, I thought Narvasa — the son of former chief justice Andres Narvasa — would step down as the PBA’s ninth commissioner. But, no; backed by the SMB side, he hardened his stance and rebuked the Gang of 7.
Robert Non, the SMB top official, countered, saying, “They cannot just act on a whim. What they are doing is not in accordance with our by-laws and constitution. All five teams – San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Kia and Globalport – stand behind Commissioner Narvasa. He enjoys our full support and we have prevailed upon him to stay and do what is right.”
I’m not privy to the behind-the-scenes negotiations that happen in the PBA but it’s clear that there’s mistrust between these two camps. If you recall, over a week ago, Fred Uytengsu complained about the possible entry of Christian Standhardinger to SMB. That was before the draft. It turns out that Fred’s worries became true. Instead of the weakest team (Kia) welcoming the top rookie, Kia opted to assist the league’s strongest in San Miguel.
Chito Narvasa was thrust in the middle and decided to approve of this deal. This decision, among others, was the final move that led the Gang of 7 to ask for his departure.
This is more than basketball. It’s business. How will this end? Abangan.