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PBA in turmoil: SMB bloc insists Narvasa will stay as TNT-led mutiny railroads Ricky Santos at the helm

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The San Miguel Beermen-led bloc in the Phlippine Basketball Association (PBA) is blocking efforts to oust Commissioner Chito Narvasa.

Robert Non, San Miguel Beermen governor and former PBA chairman, said efforts by the TNT Ka Tropa group to replace Narvasa with Ricky Santos wer‎e “illegal” as they do not have the two-thirds vote to install a new commissioner.

“They cannot just act on a whim. What they are doing is not in accordance with our by-laws and constitution. All five teams – San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Kia and Globalport – stand behind Commissioner Narvasa. He enjoys our full support and we have prevailed upon him to stay and do what is right,” said Non in a statement.

Non called TNT and its other partners – NLEX, Meralco, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Phoenix, and Blackwater – ‎a “renegade group” for making an “unauthorized and not binding move” to replace Narvasa with Ricky Santos.

“These officials do not constitute the majority needed to remove or appoint the commissioner and thereafter, make any changes in the PBA structure, “said Non.

Under the PBA rules, a majority in board is two-thirds of its current membership, which is eight of the current 12 members. In this context, only a majority vote of two-thirds of the league board membership is required by its by-laws and constitution to remove Narvasa.

San Miguel, Star, Ginebra, GlobalPort and Kia representatives were unable to attend Wednesday’s unathorized meeting as the notice was only given last October 30, a violation of the seven (7) day rule for such.

“So without this clear majority, all changes being made by these renegade members are not allowed, including the appointment of Rickie Santos as officer-in-charge, and would not be binding on the whole board membership,” Non said.
“This includes as well the misrepresentation of NLEX board member Ramon Fernandez as PBA chairman, when in fact, the sitting chairman is still Globalport’s Mikee Romero,” he added.

Non continued that these seven board members cite loss of confidence and poor performance as the reason for calling for Narvasa’s removal, but they could not cite any instance that would back their claims up, save for the MVP teams dissatisfaction with the recent trade consummated between the San Miguel Beermen and Kia Picanto.

Non said he was informed that prior to yesterday’s meeting, five members of the renegade bloc, met with Narvasa at the UCC Cafe in Libis last Oct. 30.
Narvasa attended the meeting on the belief that it was only with Fernandez to discuss PBA’s planning session, but when he arrived at the venue, four other board members – Dioceldo Sy (Blackwater), Mert Mondragon (Rain of Shine), Raymund Zorilla (Phoenix), and Dickie Bachmann (Alaska) – were also there to discuss his removal from his post as commissioner.

“This move does not sit well with the rest of us board members. Any move should be made in the proper forum and must be covered the league’s rules and regulations. Any move beyond this is definitely not allowed, “Non said.

Non cited that the group backing the move to remove Commissioner Narvasa has the habit of changing commissioners at a whim, citing the decisions to remove Commissioner Noli Eala and Sonny Barrios in the past.

“If we allow that to happen, then this will weaken the Commissioner’s Office and turn it into a puppet of whoever is the most powerful among the team owners,”Non said.