AS the PBA prepares to adopt a corporate set-up by next season, the prospect of two more franchises coming in are looking very bright.
Spin.ph has learned from sources that incoming league chief executive officer (CEO) Chito Salud – the first man ever to assume the post in the 40-year history of the PBA – is already in the process of talking to several major companies interested in becoming member ballclubs.
“May kinakausap na sila eh. Saka unlike before, mas constant ang pakikipag-meeting nila with the prospective new team owners,” said the source.
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“That’s the promise of the league’s new set-up. Kasi may commissioner ka na who will man the games, may CEO ka who will look after the administrative and marketing aspect of the league,” added the source.
Lawyer Chito Narvasa, the former Shell and Purefoods coach, was recently named by the league board as the new commissioner, replacing Salud who will be relinguishing the post by the end of the current season.
Spin.ph at the same time learned that among the possible new teams being lured to join the league are Hapee Toothpaste and Racal Motors, owner of D-League team KeraMix.
“Yung Racal Motors, nakapagpasa na raw ng letter of intent eh,” said the source.
Lamoiyan Corporation president Cecilio Pedro, for his part, said the interest of the company to join Asias’ first ever play-for-pay league has always been there owing to its renewed involvement in basketball, particularly with recently crowned D-League champion Hapee Toothpaste.
“Yes, our keen interest to join the PBA has always been there. Sa ngayon, we’re continuously and regularly talking to them,” Pedro admitted.
“Pero no concrete plans yet as we are still focused on our D-League campaign,” added the Lamoiyan executive, who incidentally, is a close friend of Rain or Shine team owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que and PLDT big boss Manny V. Pangilinan.
Mall giant SM group of Companies, which once joined the D-League through Banco De Oro in a tie-up with National University, is also being lured to become part of the league.
SM big boss Hans Sy, however, remained non-committal about the idea, saying the company still want to focus on NU’s bid to dominate the UAAP, where the school already won championships in the men’s, juniors, and women’s basketball and is cheerdancing powerhouse.
NU also won titles in beach volleyball, badminton, tennis, and juniors chess.
“No not yet. I’d rather take care of our student-athletes first,” said Sy.
Only this season, the league welcomed to its fold two expansion franchises in KIA Motors and Blackwater, bringing the number of ballclubs in the league to an all-time high of 12.