SAYING the PBA listens to its fans, Commissioner Chito Salud has hinted at moves that would please supporters as the league's board members gather in Sydney for their annual planning session.
With the league coming off another banner season in terms of attendance and viewership, Salud said the board has been given marching orders by team owners to sustain the gains of the past seasons by giving fans what they want.
“This is the PBA that listens to the fans. When the fans spoke out after Wuhan (Fiba Asia championships), when they spoke out that we need to support Gilas, the board of governors said yes,” said Salud when he met mediamen ahead of the board meeting.
“Ano ang naging result? We hosted the Fiba Asia (championships), we won the silver meal and we captured the hearts of a basketball-crazy country … and the PBA was taking the lead,” he added.
“We were not just following, we are taking the lead. proud tayo, players natin yun!"
Salud's words should come as good news for Gilas Pilipinas, which is awaiting word on what concessions the PBA board will give it as the national team builds up for the Fiba World Cup in Spain in August.
With that promise, Salud said a number of proposal has been readied for board approval when the team governors converge on Monday night in Sydney for the first of a series of meetings and planning.
“Our mandate from your team owners: Make your games more exciting … and be more responsive to fan interest,” said Salud, hinting that everything will be revealed to the media soon.
“Tomorrow, we will let you know in our press briefing… this is what we will report to you,” he added with a big smile.
Salud also took pride in reporting that since the PBA reverted to the three-conference format, ratings and gate attendance have consistently gone up.
“Since we reverted to the three-conference format, our revenues were going on a steady curve up, the attendance was going up, viewership was going up,” bared the lawyer. "But most importantly, we are back in the stream of consciousness of our fans.
“Unlike before, they were saying the PBA was slowly becoming a niche market, yun bang parang tayo-tayo na lang ang nanonood. Not anymore because our TV ratings, gate attendance will tell you it’s no longer true."
The 2014 PBA season will kick off on November 17, but the drama will already start as early as Sunday when the PBA draft welcomes the newest batch of players.