THE country’s richest solon also happens to be an active supporter of Philippine sports.
Mikee Romero has long been considered among the top personalities with heavy influence in local sports through his involvement in basketball, volleyball, baseball, shooting, cycling, and polo.
But it is in basketball where the 45-year-old representative of the 1-Pacman Party List in the House of Representative where he really made a niche by way of his Harbour Centre-Globalport franchise.
However, the young businessman is currently locked in a bitter legal battle with his own father, businessman Reghis Romero, for the control of HCPTI, which operates the Manila North Harbor terminal.
In January, a Manila regional trial court issued an arrest warrant against Romero.
Romero owns the Globalport Batang Pier team in the PBA and once served as the country’s basketball godfather by backing the various international campaigns of the national team, specifically the 2007 Southeast Asian Games in Nakhonratchasima, Thailand where the Filipinos dominated to win the gold.
On Thursday, Romero was named as the top representative with the highest net worth of P7.058 billion.
Other sportsman-representatives who made the list include Albee Benitez of badminton and cycling’s Bambol Tolentino.
But it’s Romero’s long time involvement in various sports that makes him among the country’s top sports leaders.
His fabled Harbour Centre team was considered among the greatest ballclubs to have played in the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) where it won a total of seven straight championships in a three-year span.
The franchise also represented the Philippines in the 2007 Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship in Jakarta where it won the gold shortly after the country was reinstated back by FIBA following a year of suspension.
Romero also owned the Air Asia Patriots team that won the inaugural edition of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) in 2009.
A product of De La Salle and currently chairman of the PBA board, he also had a team (Manila Sharks) in the defunct Baseball Philippines and backed the AirAsia Flying Spikers in the Philippine Super Liga.
Romero also serves as the captain of the country’s polo team and once held the presidency of the country’s shooting and cycling associations.
Just last year he made it to the list of Forbes magazine’s 50 richest Filipinos along with four other businessman-sportsman in San Miguel’s Ramon S. Ang, Danding Cojuangco, Wilfred Uytengsu, and Enrique Razon.