Dioceldo Sy eases lockout fears, feels PBA board close to agreement on Narvasa's fate
“I feel it's about time that we get a new commissioner,” says Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy. “Of course, we'd like to get a non-partisan commissioner who will be fair to all the teams, and it will be a good beginning for all.” Jaime Campos  

BLACKWATER owner Dioceldo Sy is confident the PBA board will eventually meet eye to eye regarding the fate of embattled commissioner Chito Narvasa after revealing early fears of a lockout.

Sy feels the five teams that are standing by Narvasa are already open to giving in to the desire of the rest in the 12-team league, including Blackwater, that don't support the renewal of the commissioner's term for Season 43.

“After the fires that have happened – the Voltes Five and the Magnificent Seven, I think tension is gone already,” Sy said with a smile on Monday night. “I think the five teams have realized already that majority, which is the seven teams, is not happy with the commissioner, plus a big part of the netizens, the public are also unhappy.”

“I feel it's about time that we get a new commissioner,” he added. “Of course, we'd like to get a non-partisan commissioner who will be fair to all the teams, and it will be a good beginning for all.”

The league has been divided since Narvasa approved the controversial trade that saw this year's No. 1 overall pick going to San Miguel Beer, which only had to give up a bunch of benchwarmers for the right to select Fil-German big man Christian Standhardinger.

Tension reached boiling point when the seven teams that comprise the majority, Sy bared, threatened to pull out, before the atmosphere simmered down.

“Nung una, pinipilit nila (five teams) si commissioner. At that time, our stand is if you force it, the seven teams won't play, so there's going to be a lockout,” Sy admitted. “The five teams cannot play on their own.

“So ngayon, hindi na ganun kainit eh” he was quick to add. “ The five teams are, more or less, agreeing already to have a search committee on the new commissioner.”

“I just hope there's no lockout. I don't like to see the NBA lockout few years ago when there's no tournament. We need to give the fans...December 17, the PBA should be on the road already,” he continued.

Sy is hoping the board can reach an agreement after the ongoing annual planning session in Los Angeles, which was reduced into a veritable sightseeing tour after three board members begged off from joining the trip at the last minute.

“I hope after the LA trip, kiss and make up siguro sila dun,” Sy said. “Hopefully, they come home and really have a better atmosphere, friendlier. I think when they left, medyo civil na eh. Hindi na ganun kainit eh. That's what I heard.”

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Blackwater governor Silliman Sy, Dioceldo's brother, represented the team in the planning session.

“I heard there's already a search committee to see who are the available candidates (for the next commissioner),” Dioceldo said. “We hope something will come out when they come back. Maybe next week, there should be some good news. We just hope for the best.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos