Former Crispa ace and Stags coach Bai Cristobal succeeds Joe Lipa as NCAA commissioner
Bai Cristobal served as deputy to former NCAA commissioner Joe Lipa the past two seasons. Jerome Ascano

The NCAA has appointed Bai Cristobal as the commissioner for the 90th season of the basketball tournament that unfurls on June 28.

The announcement was made on Thursday during the official turnover ceremony where Jose Rizal University was assigned as host, succeeding College of St. Benilde.

Cristobal, whose selection was recommended by the league’s management committee, is a former champion coach at San Sebastian and also held the reins of University of Perpetual Help.

In the last two years, Cristobal, a former national player and member of the legendary Crispa Redmanizers in the PBA, served as assistant commissioner to Joe Lipa, whose two-year tenure has ended.

“We looked at his track record and he’s very knowledgeable sa sport. We had series of discussions with him,” JRU athletic director and incoming mancom chairman Paul Supan said.

Supan added the Mancom is still waiting for the recommendation of Cristobal on which group of referees will officiate the upcoming season, themed 'Today’s Heroes, Tomorrow’s Legends. NCAA@90: We Make History.'

“We expect a competitive tournament ahead,” JRU and new NCAA policy board president Dr. Vincent Fabella said.

Fabella announced the upcoming season of the country's oldest collegiate league will be the last probationary year of Lyceum and Emilio Aguinaldo College. Arellano became a regular last year.

“We will decide after if they will be regular members,” Fabella said.

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