SYDNEY - One special night in July when 23,436 fans watched a game between Barangay Ginebra and Alaska in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals stands out in the mind of outgoing league chairman Robert Non.
That record crowd, Non said, served as one of the highlights of a season when the PBA overcame controversies to hit new highs and sustain its resurgence as the top sports league in the country.
“Every year, banner year tayo. In fact, it was during the term of Robert Non that the highest game attendance under a single roof was recorded,” said Commissioner Chito Salud in paying tribute to the league chairman.
Non said he is proud to be a part of a successful season as he hands over the league reins to Meralco's Ramon Segismundo at the end of the league's planning session in this Australian city.
They Said It!
“We hope to sustain the so-called resurgence of Philippine basketball, not just PBA (but) Philippine basketball led by the PBA." - PBA Commissioner Chito Salud
“I am very happy to be part of it and that it happened under my watch,” said Non, who nonetheless aired the hope that the PBA will continue breaking gate and viewership records in the seasons to come.
Non admitted that several difficulties beset the league this season, from the television coverage stalemate, the banning of Petron import Renaldo Balkman, the continued uproar over officiating, and the adjustment in the schedule which it had to make to give way to the hosting of the Fiba-Asia championships.
“(Sa kabila ng mga ito) lahat na nakuha natin eh. And I am very thankful nangyari 'yung mga magaganda. Sana maituloy ito ni Chairman Ramon Segismundo para lalong umunlad pa yung PBA,” he said.
Salud said he is confident that under Segismundo's watch, the fans will continue to support the league as it leads the way in rejuvenating Philippine basketball as a whole.
“We hope to sustain the so-called resurgence of Philippine basketball, not just PBA ha - Philippine basketball led by the PBA,” said Salud.
“UAAP is enjoying tremendous popularity also, you have the PBA D-League which has a record number of membership at 14. Clearly basketball is back sa country natin,” he added.