PBA commissioner Chito Salud on Friday apologized for the "crude" manner in which the league's draft lottery was conducted on Tuesday, but assured it was done fairly and without any tinge of dishonesty.
“I have seen the video of the draft lottery I recently conducted,” said Salud in a statement sent to media outlets. “I can now also see and understand why people have expressed concerns, some even doubts.
"This is an entirely avoidable issue and I apologize to our fans, our teams and coaches for the sitraction it has caused.”
The conduct of the draft lottery has come under fire from Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who said it "lacked class and transparency," as well as from fans who raised suspicion that it was rigged in GlobalPort's favor.
Rain or Shine, which owned the draft right of Meralco which lost out to GlobalPort in the lottery, said it will ask the board to order a redraw.
Salud admitted that the whole controversy could have been avoided had the league put a little more attention to the details, especially on the mechanism used for the draft lottery as well as its conduct.
“Improvements could have been easily instituted had I given this more attention. It simply never occurred to me that the whole process looked crude as coach Guiao called it,” explained Salud.
However, he was quick to deny that there was any effort to rig the proceedings.
“It may have appeared unrefined, but it was an honest draw," the lawyer said. "Improvements will be implemented anchored on fullest transparency.”
Salud has earlier told mediamen that he welcomed Rain or Shine's move to elevate the matter to the board.
“I welcome coach Guiao’s moves to elevate this matter to the board and let the board decide, period,” he said. “As soon as the letter comes, I will send it to the board and the board can handle the matter on their own.”