MONTHS after declaring that it is re-evaluating its participation in the Philippine Basketball Association, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said the process is almost over.
And from the looks of it, the result will be good news for fans of the conglomerate's three ballclubs.
SMC sports director Noli Eala bared to Spin.ph that he has already submitted a report to San Miguel big boss Ramon S. Ang regarding the next possible steps the company will take as far as its three professional teams are concerned.
Reading between the lines, Eala sounded upbeat about the future of all three teams, especially with Ginebra clinching a Finals berth in the Commissioner's Cup opposite Alaska and the two other teams under the SMC umbrella, San Mig Coffee and Petron, reaching the playoffs.
“How the teams perform affect our core values, and as long as the teams understand what we’re here for, I think the PBA will always be a part of San Miguel,” Eala said.
Although it failed to defend its title, San Mig Coffee made the semifinals for the fourth straight conference, while Petron reached the quarterfinals despite having to deal with the banning of import Renauldo Balkman earlier in the tournament.
The same controversy involving Balkman, which SMC believed was blown out of proportion, led management to come out with a strongly-worded statement saying `it has decided to re-evaluate its participation in the PBA.’
Eala was quick to say that the re-evaluation was not focused solely on the success of SMC's three teams.
“This (Ginebra) win, siyempre nakatulong ito. But at the end of the day, maraming factors eh. Pero ang pinakamalaking factors sa amin `yung fans. Hindi namin sila kayang iwan,” said Eala.
The former PBA commissioner personally drafted the recommendation but declined to give detailed information about it other than say that it has something to do with the performances of all three teams under the SMC umbrella.
“Yes sa performances ng team `yun. Marketing aspect yun eh,” said Eala, who hinted that Ginebra’s return to the Finals might be a big factor in whatever decision management will reach.
But asked if Ginebra’s first championship appearance in two years changed the mindset of the team, Eala answered in the negative.
“It’s not so much na nabago `yung mindset. It’s more of really how the teams are performing. Kami naman gusto lang namin magtrabaho `yung teams, for the fans,” stressed the former Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director.
“Gusto lang naman namin ang mga teams mag-ta-trabaho eh. Hindi naman importante sa amin `yung manalo eh. It’s how they play for the fans. Yung panalo bonus na lang yun,” he added.
As to when the decision will come out, Eala just shrugged his shoulders and said, “It’s up to our big boss.”