HE wanted things to be systematic and was a stickler for perfection.
It’s how people close to former PBA Commissioner Rey Marquez would best remember him. The long-time Shell executive passed away on Nov. 11. He was 86.
“At Shell, he was always for perfection. If he saw tables not aligned at the office, papa-ayos niya. When we send memos to him, he corrects every grammatical mistakes, spelling. Ganun siya, ayaw niya ng sloppy work,” recounted former Shell team manager Charlie Favis.
Marquez was the league’s fourth commissioner, succeeding the late lawyer Rodrigo Salud, who was the man he credited for convincing him to accept the job of leading Asia’s first ever professional cage league from 1992 to 1994.
The former Shell vice president for personnel and public affairs, Marquez was the first and only PBA chairman to become commissioner.
He was the first league chairman in 1987 after the board of governors decided to supersede the position of president. Elected to just a one-year term, Marquez’s tenure would eventually be extended for three years until 1990.
Marquez didn’t have a hard time running the affairs of the league since as Favis recalled, ‘Masisipag daw kasi sila Jun B (Jun Bernardino) and Sonny Barrios.”
Bernardino was then PBA executive director and Barrios executive assistant and finance officer. Both became league commissioners later on.
“He (Marquez) was telling me that everything was smooth when he became commissioner because the PBA had a hardworking staff,” said Favis.
But Marquez, who represented Shell to the board back then, also had his own vision for the league.
He instituted the adjustment of the Philippine Cup to be the league’s opening salvo every season and renamed the two other conferences as Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup, respectively.
It was also under his term that the league found a new home.
“He was the instigator to leave ULTRA (now Philsports Arena), since he felt there were bigger markets out there,” said Favis. “So he brought the league to the Cuneta Astrodome.”
Favis added it was Marquez who appointed him to be the ‘head of the Shell PBA Task Force’ immediately after Shell acquired the Crispa franchise.
Former Shell chairman Cesar Buenaventura was actually approached by then PBA Deputy Commissioner and former Crispa coach Tommy Manotoc to offer the sale of the Crispa franchise.
The Turbochargers won four championships (1990, 1992, 1998, and 1999) in their more than two decades of playing in the league until bowing out in 2006.
As a way of remembering the memories and works of Marquez, the PBA will hold a small tribute in his behalf just before Game 1 of the Governors Cup finals on Dec. 5.
“We’ll be having the ‘Final Buzzer’ as a tribute to former commissioner Rey Marquez,” said current league honcho Willie Marcial, who was still with television coveror Vintage Enterprise when Marquez was at the helm.
Marcial said invitations had already been sent to Marquez’s family and former colleagues for the ceremony.