WITH NLEX coming in as the third team from the Metro Pacific Investments Inc. bloc in the PBA, the dynamics in the league board is expected to shift.
Since San Miguel Corp. also own three franchises in the league in San Miguel Beer, Ginebra and San Mig, two conglomerates now control one half of the seats in the 12-man policy-making body.
Fortunately, the league, Commissioner Chito Salud said, has a rule in place that makes sure the balance of power in the board won't shift too much in favor of blocs with multiple ownership in the 39-year-old league.
Under the league rule instituted after SMC acquired the Purefoods company along with its PBA team from the Ayala group, only representatives from two SMC-controlled teams - San Miguel Beer and Ginebra - get to vote when it comes to basketball-related issues tackled by the board.
All three SMC teams, however, can cast their votes in policy matters and other issues.
“Sa policy-making, may voting power ako. Tulad kanina, may boto ako sa NLEX acquisition ng Air21,” Rene Pardo, San Mig's representative to the board, said shortly after the league approved the sale of the Air21 franchise to bloc controlled by the group of Manny V. Pangilinan.
“Sa basketball issues, yung games hindi. Kasi kung basketball related, tatlo kami (SMC) agad, mamomoblema naman yung iba,” added the amiable team official. “Ginawa 'yung rule na 'yun para balanced.”
The same set-up now applies to the MVP-controlled teams, with Talk 'N Text and Meralco having a vote in basketball-related issues and NLEX only having a say in policy matters.
Also, the entry of expansion teams Blackwater Sports and Kia Motors is expected to dilute the power of the two rival conglomerates in the board and give a bigger say to independent teams like Alaska, Rain or Shine, GlobalPort and Barako Bull.
Three votes each for the SMC and MVP blocs may be a lot in the board, but either side will still need to get the support of the independent teams in a 12-man body to get the board's nod in crucial issues.