LOS ANGELES – The PBA board of governors’ version of LA Confidential came within a flicker of getting blown to bits Wednesday after comments attributed to a team owner belonging to the so-called Group of Seven filtered into online media with the effect of squirting fuel to an already volatile ceasefire.
Within minutes of the quotes circulating, alarm bells went off and the initial reaction took some effort to put out.
But it was all smoke and ashes by the time a group which pushed through with the trip left on a bus for Las Vegas at noon.
The agreed truce was breached briefly but several board members from both sides were quick to restore order.
With the 12 league governors committing to maintain silence after a scheduled program and planning session in LA was aborted as a majority group refused to take part following an impasse in deciding the fate of PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa, quotes reportedly coming from Blackwater Elite owner Dioceldo Sy threw “everything we’ve been working for back to square one.”
The sentiment came from an aghast team official who nonetheless insisted that the truce struck between seven ballclubs aligned in the so-called MVP bloc – TNT KaTropa, Meralco, NLEX, Phoenix, Alaska, Rain or Shine and Blackwater, and five banded together in the SMC bloc – San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Star, Globalport and Kia, be kept in place at all costs.
“We may have a stalemate in other matters, but some things have to push through, like the December 17 opening [of the 43rd PBA season.],” the official said.
A looming lockout, which could happen if neither group budges from its rigid position, was allayed and stoked at the same time by the Elite honcho’s pronouncement even as he disclosed that a selection committee has been formed to scout for Narvasa’s successor, a claim that drew some dispute.
While the ambitious planning session failed to take off, one scheduled activity did get off ground after Alaska governor Dickie Bachmann, the incoming vice chairman, arranged for a group of sportswriters, along with Blackwater alternate governor Silliman Sy and the PBA’s media and marketing officers, to watch an NBA game between the LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday night at the Staples Center.
Meanwhile, LA Revilla, the disgruntled, twitter-sending Kia Picanto point guard, has been traded to Phoenix for the Fuel Masters’ draft pick, No. 21 overall Jayson Grimaldo, from Manuel L. Quezon University, and a second round pick in 2018.
Kia governor Bobby Rosales said he has gotten in touch with Revilla’s agent and agreed to whatever was on the table so as not to burden both sides any further after the former De La Salle player went on social media to express his frustration over Picanto management’s rationale in dealing away the rights to the No. 1 pick which San Miguel made use to draft 6-foot-7 Fil-German forward Chris Standhardinger.
The trade proposal still needs Narvasa’s approval though.