THE TIMELINE: The PBA Board standoff and Narvasa's future as Commissioner

Paul Lintag on Nov 03, 2017 03:37 PM
THE TIMELINE: The PBA Board standoff and Narvasa's future
To further understand this drama surrounding the league, let's try to look back at what transpired over the last couple of weeks that brought us here.

To be fair, Chito Narvasa had his moments as Commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association.

To be fair again, Chito Narvasa's term as PBA Commissioner has been saddled with a lion's share of controversy and overwhelming disapproval from fans.

Speaking of controversy, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back appears to be the now infamous Kia-San Miguel trade for the no. 1 pick of the 2017 PBA Draft.

Now, the PBA is in shambles with clear battlelines drawn among all 12 teams and Narvasa's tenure as Commissioner is way up in the air.

To further understand this drama surrounding the league, let's try to look back at what transpired over the last couple of weeks that brought us here.

Just to be clear, despite all that went down with Narvasa since his term started in 2015, the PBA seemed to be healthy, even setting record attendance for three straight games in the recently-concluded Governors' Cup Finals.

Sure, it was at the Philippine Arena but the Philippine Arena is also outside Metro Manila. Fans will have to go the extra mile to go there and the fact that they did, it shows that the general audience do still care about the PBA. And that counts as a win.

Okay let's get back to the topic at hand.


October 21, 2017, Saturday --- It all starts.

Reports of the possible Kia-San Miguel trade finally surfaced with the Beermen packaging Jay-R Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, Keith Agovida, and a first round pick for the Picanto's no. 1 pick.

Safe to say, all hell broke loose once this proposal was announced and a lot of people had a lot of time to give their respective two cents since it was a Saturday and no trades are approved on a weekend.


October 23, 2017, Monday --- Deafening silence.

Monday comes and no announcement is made. However, Chris Gavina, Kia's head coach, said during the Draft Combine that he would love to keep the pick although everything is out of his hands.

Throughout the week, reports surfaced the trade has udergone several revisions but still, no word came from the PBA and everyone basically conceded that everything will go down on Draft Day.


October 27, 2017, Friday --- Approval.

About an hour before Game 7 of the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals at the Philippine Arena, Commissioner Narvasa enters the PBA press room for a sudden press conference.

After the 30-minute talk, Narvasa basically gave his approval to the proposed Kia-SMB trade.

The Commissioner said that there were several revisions and he also killed the deal altogether but the new package San Miguel came up with was Jay-R Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, Ronald Tubid, and a 2019 first round pick for Kia's 2017 no. 1 selection.

According to Narvasa, Tubid was a key piece into the approval of the trade and also according to the Commissioner, several other teams inquired about Kia's no. 1 pick before the Beermen ultimately beat everyone else.

Another tidbit from the Commissioner, it appeared that TNT's Magnum Membrere submitted a separate draft application on behalf of Christian Standhardinger, the consensus top pick, almost immediately after Standhardinger's team submitted the Fil-German's application directly to Narvasa via email.


October 29, 2017, Sunday --- The Draft.

San Miguel officially selected Christian Standhardinger first overall in the Draft, making things finally official.

Aside from some boos heard when Standhardinger joined the Beermen at the podium, the Draft went smooth all throughout.

However, after the Draft, TNT dropped a pipe bomb by releasing a state addressing Narvasa's comments during his Game 7 press conference.

Basically, TNT took offense to Narvasa dropping the name of Membrere and the team in trying to explain his thought process in approving the now infamouse Kia-San Miguel trade.

Through the statement, TNT also said that Narvasa is biased.


October 30, 2017, Monday --- The Meeting.

According to Commissioner Narvasa, he met with incoming PBA Chairman Ramoncito Fernandez of NLEX a day after the Draft.

Also in the meeting, to the surprise of Narvasa, were a handful of other PBA Board members and basically, Fernandez said that the majority of the PBA Board will no longer endorse his extension as Commissioner.


November 2, 2017, Thursday --- The Reveal.

After a meeting by the majority bloc of the PBA Board, deputy commissioner Rickie Santos was appointed officer-in-charge to replace Narvasa.

The Board cited a "loss of confidence" in making the decision oust Narvasa as Commissioner and basically, this was the content of the meeting on October 30.

The majority includes TNT, NLEX, Meralco, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Blackwater, and Phoenix. But, in order to actually remove Narvasa as Commissioner, the Board needs eight votes.

The minority bloc, which includes San Miguel, Star, Ginebra, Globalport, and Kia, urged Narvasa to stay and earlier in the day, it was confirmed that Narvasa will stay put as Commissioner for the time being.

At 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon, Narvasa called for a separate press conference at the PBA office in Libis.

Narvasa said that he is willing to step down if that's the Board ultimately decides to do but he will not resign. Narvasa says that he is fighting for principle and he wants the process to go through the proper procedure.


November 3, 2017, Friday  --- Present day.

Status quo remains in the PBA with Chito Narvasa keeping his job as Commissioner.

However, clear battle lines have been drawn and it's currently 7-5 in favor of the majority bloc which includes the MVP-owned teams.

The PBA Board is set to fly for the US a week from now for its annual planning and it can be safe to say that Narvasa's tenure as Commissioner will be one of the priorities in the meetings that will soon take place.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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