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Romero happy with success of multi-city All-Star games, multiple non-MM playoff games

Thanks to Mikee Romero, more out-of-town games, including multiple All-Star and playoff matches on the road, took place last season. Dennis Acosta

By Ivan Saldajeno

PARAƑAQUE--If there is one lasting legacy that Mikee Romero will leave as he is set to relinquish his spot as PBA board chairman to Ramoncito Fernandez, that would be his desire to bring the league closer to the fans.

That came into fruition through three All-Star games and even more playoff games played outside Metro Manila with the last three games of the Governors' Cup Finals being held in Bocaue, leading to back-to-back 53,000-people audiences at the Philippine Arena.

"[They are] a must for me, kasi ang nangyayari, parang nagiging inclusive lang eh. Ngayon, naging exclusive," Romero told some reporters during the press conference of the league's new season at the Okada Manila Golden Ballroom on Wednesday.

While he did not exactly got what he really wanted for the All-Star games, that is, pitting teams based on the players' hometowns against each other as the said games became avenues for Gilas to shape its roster for the SEABA Men's Championship, he saw the increased number of out-of-town actions as "a good start."

"Maganda naman noong lumabas," the governor for GlobalPort added.

The PBA announced last month that it will have a repeat of the multiple All-Star games on the road with the cities of Batangas and Davao set to host their own All-Star festivities along with a still undisclosed Visayan area.

[Related Story: Batangas, Davao to host 2018 PBA All-Stars as 3-leg format returns]

About his reaction to the new development, Romero said, "They should. Ang sabi ko [sa kanila,] 'Kailangang dalhin ito sa mga regions. Mas marami, mas maganda.'"

He also expressed his openness of batting to fully turn the PBA into a home-and-away league like its football counterpart PFL and the defunct MBA, which competed pretty well with the PBA during its five-season run from 1998-2002.

"Masarap yung ganun. May homecourt ka eh. Dapat maging ganun," Romero further said.

However, he is also aware of the reality bites.

"Yung costs medyo mabigat, so we have to study that," Romero continued.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno