FORMER PBA coach Chito Narvasa has been named to succeed Chito Salud as league commissioner, getting a unanimous vote from the board of governors during Thursday’s meeting at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.
Narvasa, who coached Purefoods and Shell during the 1990s, is set to step down from his position as chief executive officer of Citystate Bank and assume his new post effective August 1.
The son of the late former Chief Justice Andres Narvasa will start attending games of the PBA Governors Cup as an “on-the-job” trainee of Salud, who will formally vacate his post as commissioner at the end of the league’s 40th season.
Salud, will then move on to perform his new function as the PBA’s first president and chief executive officer.
“We have done this in the last three months and we had four special board meetings, and we believe that we have chosen the right commissioner,” said PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio after emerging from the hour-long board meeting.
"We want the PBA to grow and we want to focus on what we can still accomplish as a league. We have arrived at an unprecedented and historic decision, which is unanimous, 12-0 in favor of Chito Narvasa."
Gregorio made the announcement accompanied by boards governors Robert Non of San Miguel Beer, Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra and Rene Pardo of Star (formerly Purefoods).
Narvasa, also the president of the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP), was chosen over current PBA operations head Rickie Santos, former player Vince Hizon, and St. Clare College owner Jay Adalem after a four-week search that included deliberation and interview conducted by the PBA board.
“It is a very quick meeting because we were able to analyze the process in the last few meetings and we were able to address all the issues,” said Gregorio, who is now in the tailend of his one-year tenure as PBA chairman.
“Today, we know that we cleared this with our respective owners so we’re happy to announce that this is unanimous, united and a solid decision by the board,” he added.
For his part, Chua said he will have to discuss with Narvasa his plans for the BCAP, where the current Ginebra manager and governor sits as vice president.
“We have to ask him if he will resign (as BCAP president). We have to discuss that, kasi bago siya naging candidate dito (for league commissioner), may mga plano kami for BCAP, pero naging candidate siya later,” said Chua.