LATEST STORIES Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Quelling fears of a split board, the PBA’s governors or their representatives all showed up for the preseason press conference: (from left) MagnoliaHotshots governor Rene Pardo, Rain or Shine governor Mamerto Mondragon, Meralco alternate governor Ryan Gregorio, TNT assistant team manager Magnum Membrere, GlobalPort alternate governor Erick Arejola, Alaska governor Dickie Bachmann, GlobalPort governor and team owner and PBA chair Rep. Mikee Romero, NLEX governor and PBA vice chair Ramoncito Fernandez, Phoenix governor Raymond Zorilla, Kia governor Bobby Rosales, Blackwater governor Silliman Sy, San Miguel Beer governor RobertNon and Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua. —EARVIN PERIASIn the strongest indication yet that the Philippine Basketball Association is ready to put behind it a leadership crisis that roused fears of a delayed season start, two officials belonging to the two factions of the board vowed to steer the league toward a bigger and better year for hoop fans.Rep. Mikee Romero, the PBA chair, said that the board stands united behind pushing for the league’s continued progress, adding that the league would showcase the only thing that matters when it opens on Dec. 17.ADVERTISEMENT Also present were Robert Non of San Miguel, Alfrancis Chua of Ginebra, Rene Pardo of Magnolia, Dickie Bachmann of Alaska, Mert Mondragon of Rain or Shine, Raymond Zorrilla of Phoenix, Silliman Sy of Blackwater, Bobby Rosales of Kia, alternate governor Ryan Gregorio of Meralco, and TNT assistant team manager Magnum Membrere. All 12 representatives sat at one table, a watershed moment considering the friction caused by the split the past two months.“I think we’re a very solid group at this point in time. Business as usual,” Romero said.Narvasa was also present, but he was on a separate table with other league officials.He had virtually nothing to say in an event where, in the past, commissioners usually run the show, opting to hand the reins to the governors. The league made it clear beforehand that questions regarding Narvasa’s tenure would not be addressed during the press conference, but Romero said that the governors would deal with their problems internally.“We [decided] that we will have one voice, not just for the 12 teams but for the Philippine fans of basketball,” said Romero. “We want to be one voice in representing the whole PBA.”And there seems to be still a lot for the board to discuss. At the end of the presser, the governors left in two separate groups, with the seven-team bloc that wants Narvasa out exiting ahead of the five-team group seeking to retain him as commissioner.At the very least, however, the board has shown a semblance of unity and it promises the fans that basketball at the highest level will be available to them despite the leadership crisis.“We will assure the fans that we will provide the same entertainment, the same basketball fun that we have always provided,” promised Romero.And the board will continue to find ways to improve the league.“Definitely the biggest value of PBA is entertainment. As long as we make the matchups competitive, this will make the PBA more valuable,” Fernandez said. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? But unlike during the awards night, Romero had another voice backing his vow—and it came from the other side of the fence, a strong indication that the board is heading toward the right direction.“What the board promises you is we will have a more exciting year and we’ll continue to delight the millions of fans of the PBA,” said PBA vice chair Ramoncito Fernandez of NLEX. “We promise that with your support, we will continue to make the PBA very relevant to the Filipinos.”Fernandez was supposed to assume chairmanship of the board this season, but due to an apparent boycott by clubs associated with one of the warring blocs, the annual board meeting in Los Angeles that was also to serve as the turnover ceremony didn’t push through, leaving the structure of the board in status quo.The warring groups, split over the tenure of commissioner Chito Narvasa, couldn’t seem to find a compromise to work on, giving rise to fears that the season opener would be pushed back at least a month—or postponed indefinitely.Romero and Fernandez were among the 10 governors who showed up for the meeting to quash that apprehension. The two other teams were represented by other officials.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours ‘The Two Popes’ movie explores depth of faith, frailties of man PLAY LIST 01:28‘The Two Popes’ movie explores depth of faith, frailties of man03:53Pope Francis ushers in Christmas with message of ‘unconditional love’03:53Pope Francis ushers in Christmas with message of ‘unconditional love’02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene McKenzie upends top seed twice, clinches 3 PPS crowns in Argao It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson “This Sunday, what we should be watching are the players, the superstars of Philippine basketball,” Romero told sports journalists during the preseason press conference for the 43rd season of Asia’s oldest play-for-pay league Wednesday at Okada Manila.“Hindi pwedeng mawala ang PBA sa Pilipino, or ang Pilipino mawala sa PBA (We can never take the PBA from the Filipino, or the Filipino from the PBA),” he added, guaranteeing an opening ceremony at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“Admittedly there were a lot of Filipino fans that were turned off and they should be. I think basketball has to be played inside the basketball court. I’m a purist and I like the purity of the game.”The statement was a followup to remarks he made during the PBA Press Corps awards night, where he boldly promised that the board of governors was ready to heal the fissures that split it into two blocs. View comments Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ
Mistreatment of Opposition at flag raising ceremony– MPs vent on social mediaAlmost 24 hours after they were left to stand embarrassingly at the flag-raising ceremony to mark Guyana’sOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo expressing his displeasure on Wednesday night at D’Urban Park50th Independence anniversary Wednesday night, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) are yet to receive an explanation from the Minister responsible for staging the event, Nicolette Henry.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, when contacted on Thursday, said his party has received no response from Henry or any other government official on the issue.Wednesday night opposition MPs walked out of D’Urban Park after they turned up and found that the promised seating arrangements were not available.Jagdeo told Guyana Times his Party had signalled its intention of attending the event, since it wanted to participate in the activities to mark the country’s significant milestone. He said contact was also made with Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry, who had responsibility for the event, concerning the seating arrangement. He said assurance was given that this was taken care of. In fact, he said she related that there were some 1000 VIP seats.Jagdeo said while himself and a few other senior members of the Party were seated, the majority of party members were left standing, while other persons, many of whom were dressed inappropriately, passed by and were allowed seats. He said he asked Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams to address the matter and warned that if it was not, then he would be left with no choice but to leave in solidarity with his colleagues who were left unseated. The group left some 45 minutes after arrivingMeanwhile, several MPs took to social media to vent over the situation.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall said, “they may deny us seats at the Flag Raising Ceremony. They may refuse to recognize but cannot deny the role which Cheddie Jagan and many other leaders of PPP played in the struggle for Independence from 1943-1966. Not only did we play a leading part in that struggle, but the 23 years (out of 50), after independence, that is from 1992-2015, that we governed this country were the best period of our country’s developmental trajectory. It’s too much to recite here but even detractors, if they want to be credible, will agree.Member of Parliament Priya Manickchand said, “unfortunately, when we got to the event, happy to be there with feelings of deep patriotic pride, the Govt provided no seats for the opposition MPs except for five seats given to the Leader of the Opposition, Sam Hinds and three other MPs. While the rest of us were standing there in the passageway for no less than 25 minutes.”The MP went on to say that, “this shameless and infantile” behaviour was designed to embarrass the Opposition and is unacceptable as it is petty, disrespectful and destructive. “Hey, Executive. You can’t stop us. We are elected office holders. We represent hundreds of thousands of persons. We celebrate Guyana’s Independence,” Manickchand added.Also venting disappointment was former Housing Minister and now shadow Finance Minister Irfaan Ali: “The talk of unity and coming together was all fluff. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected the Government to stoop to this level of disregard and disrespect for the opposition. Despite assuring the opposition that accommodation would be made for Opposition MPs this was not the case. On arrival at the Jubilee Park we were shocked to learn that neither seats nor accommodation was made for us. After standing for almost 30 minutes waiting to be seated whilst numerous persons were seated, the humiliation was enough and as a team we left… The former Presidents and General Secretary left with the MPs in solidarity. This is the unity the President alluded to” Meanwhile, former President Donald Ramotar who also attended the flag raising ceremony and was seated said that he also walked out of the proceedings in support of his colleagues when he heard about the incident, .Efforts to contact Minister Henry on the issue proved futile.