FORMER PBA commissioner Noli Eala is still very much involved in basketball especially in the cage program of the family-owned San Pablo Colleges in Laguna.
Eala was spotted on Monday sitting at the back of the St. Clare College bench during its Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup game against reigning four-time NCAA champion San Beda at The Arena in San Juan.
The rare public appearance was the first for Eala since he was replaced as head of sports operations of the San Miguel Corporation orgazation.
Eala politely declined to be interviewed by Spin.ph after the Saints' loss to the Red Lions, although St. Clare College vice president Jay Adalem bared the former sports broadcaster and one-time executive director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is still involved in basketball for San Pablo College.
The school is owned by Eala's father, said Adalem.
Just recently, Adalem said Eala recruited a Cameroonian import who initially tried out for St. Clare, the reigning men’s champion of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (NAASCU) but didn't make the team.
“He has his school and they need an import,” said Adalem, when asked by Spin.ph why Eala was sitting at the back of the St. Clare’s bench.
“Binigyan namin sila ng import. Nag-tryout siya sa amin pero pupunta ng San Pablo,” said Adalem, who is also treasurer of the SBP.
Adalem said he and Eala has been helping each other as the two reach out to the NCAA about the possibility of forming a Division 2 in the league made of the member schools of the NAASCU and NCAA South – something patterned after the US NCAA set-up.
“Kumpare ko ‘yan eh,” said Adalem. “We are now talking with NCAA na sana magkaroon na sila ng Division 2, using NAASCU and NCAA South.”