“THE league has it in its by-law’s to abide by the commissioner’s decision."
That was what Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu stressed as he weighed in on the Renaldo Balkman controversy that has not only left the PBA in crisis but has also threatened to tear it apart.
A day after San Miguel Corp. announced that it was "re-evaluating" its participation in the pro league due to the blow to its reputation caused by Balkman's meltdown and eventual lifetime ban, the outspoken Alaska owner insisted that no one and no team should be above the law.
“No player or team should be above such decisions and rules," he said.
Uytengsu also threw his support behind Commissioner Chito Salud, whose decision to ban the Petron import for life has polarized not only the member teams but also the fans.
“It seems the commissioner took all the facts (and prior history) into account,” said Uytengsu. “We must remember that player and fan safety are paramount and the PBA needs to set the right example.”
Amid fears that San Miguel's "re-evaluation" could lead to a pullout of its three popular teams from the 38-year-old league, Uytengsu said it's high time member ballclubs go back to thinking about the welfare of the PBA and not just their own.
“What is clear to me is that team owners need to start thinking (about) the league again and not just what is beneficial to each of our own teams,” the Alaska owner said.
“If a team or teams feel such decisions are not acceptable then they must come to their own decisions including future participation."