THE desire to acquire a PBA franchise may be so enticing for Harbour Centre owner Mikee Romero that he’s more than willing to do so at all cost.
Given the choice, the youthful businessman admitted leaning towards buying the core of an existing team -- lock, stock, and barrel -- rather than acquiring a new league franchise.
The process may be more expensive, but for a person who’s passionate enough about basketball, the price doesn’t matter.
“Kasi when you buy an existing team, at least meron na siyang core to work on,” said Romero, who, other than basketball, also dabbles in shooting and polo.
Acquiring a new PBA franchise would mean shelling out the required franchise fee of P60 million, an amount that has remained unchanged since Red Bull became a member of Asia’s first-ever play-for-pay league in 2000.
But buying a current team means shelling out more.
“Wala namang problema,” Romero coolly said.
After a meeting with Romero on Tuesday, league commissioner Chito Salud said the businessman/sportsman made known his serious intention to join the PBA in time for its 38th season. Salud disclosed Romero is ready acquire a new franchise, but will also consider the option to buy an existing team if by any chance, a ballclub decides to sell by the end of the season.
Romero has earlier expressed his interest in buying the Powerade franchise following rumors the team may be heading in a different direction by next year.
“Pag expansion kasi, you have to rely on the concessions to be given by the board, like going through the expansion draft. Not unlike `yung may core ka na you can build your team around,” he said.
But Romero added he’ll definitely do whatever it takes just to realize his longtime dream of joining the country’s biggest sports league.
Salud said he will inform the board about Romero’s PBA application when it convenes on Thursday. He may also make it part of the agenda if the Harbour Centre owner had formalized his application by that time.
The long-term plan of the Smart Pilipinas-Gilas 2 program would also be taken up during the meeting as well as the current TV ratings of the league.