PBA commissioner Chito Salud insisted an import's wrongdoing won't be enough to ruin San Miguel Corp.'s "solid and unshakable" reputation but remained mum on the company's move to "re-evaluate" its participation in the pro league in the wake of the Renaldo Balkman controversy.
Just hours after Salud handed a life ban on Balkman for his attack on game officials and teammates, San Miguel released a statement saying it is re-evaluating its participation in the league due to "the possible long-term effect of the (Balkman) incident to the San Miguel organization's image."
Salud, however, said in a separate statement he doesn't believe the "individual and singular act" of an import can dent the SMC organization's "solid and unshakable" reputation.
"Petron/SMC franchise's reputation is solid and unshakable. I respectfully disagree with anyone who will say otherwise, much more on the basis of an import's individual and singular act," said Salud. "It just isn't the case."
The PBA chief, however, declined to comment on fears the "re-evaluation" was a threat to pull out the three teams under the SMC umbrella - San Mig, Barangay Ginebra, and Petron - from Asia's pioneering pro league.
He instead paid tribute to the SMC group and the people running it, most of whom were close to his late father - former PBA commissioner Rudy Salud.
"The SMC group is a great franchise run by great leaders. I know many of them personally and I only have great respect for them. Mr. (Danding) Cojuangco and Mr. (Ramon) Ang are pillars of Philippine society who I have followed and admired ever since," he said.
"The PBA and (SMC's) franchise have been together for a long, long time and that's valuable in every respect."