Header Ads Widget

2017: A roller-coaster ride in basketball

The PBA board stand reunited at the end of an impasse that nearly put the PBA fans' Christmas in peril. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

THIS year is an interesting year in Philippine basketball, not because of championships and historic performances, but because of the stories behind the scenes.

The biggest stories, however, came late into the year, just when everyone is already thinking about Christmas.

In the first part of our year-end report in basketball, let's revisit the intriguing hoop stories from the sidelines.

The PBA impasse
Concerns over Chito Narvasa's approval of a controversial trade led to an impasse among the PBA board. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
Admit it. Many of you feared about a possible lockout because of a disagreement between two factions in the PBA board of governors regarding the future of Commissioner Chito Narvasa.

Narvasa, during his two-season stint as commissioner, got some heat from not just some players and team officials but also the fans.

However, the heat went boiling point when he approved the trade in which Kia sent the number one pick of this year's draft, which turned out to be Chris Standhardinger, to San Miguel for veterans who, on paper, are probably just enough to land a late first rounder at most (more on Kia in the second part).

[Related Story: On third try, Kia-SMB trade for top pick finally approved]

That somehow sparked the division of the board.

The governors of the three MVP Group-owned teams, Alaska, Blackwater, Phoenix, and Rain Or Shine convened to declare the commissioner seat vacant, something the governors of the other five teams called an "act on a whim."

[Related Story: Narvasa out as commish? That's "acting on a whim" says Non]

The impasse spilled through the supposed annual league planning in Los Angeles, in which the quorum was not met, turning it into a mere early Christmas vacation for those present there.

Outgoing board chairman Mikee Romero, whose GlobalPort side is curiously among the five teams that expressed their support to Narvasa, vowed on Nov. 30 that the board will resolve the impasse by the start of December.

As signs that they have resolved it, the preseason press conference was set on Dec. 13 (although the media was notified not to ask updates on whether the impasse is done that time), and the season opened as scheduled on Dec. 17. That was when the board announced the resignation of Narvasa, putting the impasse to an end.

[Related Story: NARVASA OFFICIALLY OUT | Chito Narvasa tenders resignation, out as PBA commissioner ahead of season opening]

The Aldin Ayo saga
A late Christmas news sees Aldin Ayo bolting Taft for EspaƱa. Mike Romero (file photo)
Then, the late 2017 bomb.

Reports came in that Aldin Ayo is set for a move to UST after two seasons with La Salle.

The news, however, came at an interesting time as the Green Archers, in a statement just before Christmas, insisted that they still support Ayo fully. In fact, Ayo himself said that time that he wishes to stay with them.

However, Ayo reportedly had a change of heart, opening himself up for the UST job.

Interestingly enough, Ayo's two-year deal with La Salle ends on Sunday, the time I am writing this post.

As per a person privy of the situation, Ayo's new coaching venture could be made official by the new year.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno