MAHINDRA consultant Joe Lipa on Tuesday aired his side on a brief but stormy meeting with Chito Narvasa that ended with the PBA commissioner refusing to lift the suspension on the coaching great.
Lipa, suspended indefinitely for failing to honor a 'non-waivable summon' from Narvasa last November 16, said he went to the league office on Monday for a meeting that was arranged through deputy commissioner Rickie Santos.
However, the multi-titled coach and former commissioner of the UAAP and NCAA said he was taken aback by Narvasa's reaction the moment he entered the room in the presence of Santos.
"Actually upon my arrival at his office yesterday, I was surprised. He (Narvasa) called me for a meeting tapos sasabihin niya, 'Ano pag-uusapan natin? Bakit ka andito?' Yun ang sabi niya," said Lipa.
"Sabi ko, 'Eh pinatawag mo ko eh. Akala ko magmi-meeting tayo?' Sagot niya sa akin, 'Pinatawag kita nung Monday (November 16), hindi ngayon.' 'Yun ang sagot niya," he said.
Lipa said he tried to explain that his appearance at the Commissioner's Office was pre-arranged through Santos, who acted on behalf of Narvasa in informal talks prior to the meeting.
"Sabi ko sa kanya na nagkausap kami ni Rickie, 'Sabi mo daw okay na ang meeting ngayon.' Pero pinipilit niya na, 'Pinatawag kita noong Monday, hindi ngayon.' Pinipilit niya 'yun," he said.
The fiery coach, who led an all-amateur Philippine team to a bronze medal in the 1986 Asian Games, said the meeting degenerated from there and ended in no more than five minutes.
Lipa bared Narvasa also denied he degraded Mahindra playing-coach Manny Pacquiao in a story that came out in Gulf News, wherein he was quoted as saying that Pacquiao is "not a basketball player but a boxer."
Lipa's defense of Pacquiao in a story that came out in Spin.ph led to the Narvasa summon.
"Dine-deny nya 'yun. Sinasabi nga niya na dinedepensahan pa nga daw niya si Manny Pacquiao (sa foreign media). Sabi nya, hindi raw niya sinabi 'yun, panay pa nga raw ang proteksyon nya kay Manny Pacquiao," he said.
Lipa remained firm in his stand that Narvasa's comments on Pacquiao were uncalled for.
"Alam mo, hindi niya dapat ganunin si Pacquiao," said Lipa who was at Mahindra's practice in Cloverleaf Gym in Guadalupe when reached by Spin.ph.
"Kasama natin sa liga si Manny eh. Player natin 'yan eh. So I just defended him, not because he is with my team, but I know it was the right thing to do. Part siya ng liga eh. Wala namang masamang ginagawa 'yung tao," Lipa said.
Asked if the indefinite suspension is just, Lipa said, "Mahirap talaga yun. Ayaw ko nang mag komentaryo dyan, pero unang una bakit niya ko sinu-suspend? Tingin mo ba, yung indefinite suspension is that commensurate to the - if ever - (accusation that) I snubbed him?" he said.
"Kung saka-sakali nga na inisnab ko na siya, I am now a subject to his whim? Ano rason bakit niya ko sinusupindi? Dahil hindi ako sumipot?" added Lipa.
"Before I left I asked him: 'Suspended pa rin ba ko?' Sagot niya, 'Yes,' so umalis na ko," he said.