Chito Narvasa shies away from PBA board during season 43 launch

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PBA Media Bureau

PBA officials and team executives found themselves in an awkward situation during the league’s 43rd season launch on Wednesday.

As they posed for a traditional group photo, embattled PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa was seen at the opposite table, refusing to join them.

Narvasa, who remains as the league commissioner this upcoming season despite calls for him to step down, had a simple explanation on why he skipped the photo opportunity.

“Hayaan mo sila,” Narvasa told InterAksyon. “Gusto ko silang makitang buo.”

The event marked the first time that members of the PBA board were seen in a public gathering since their dispute regarding Narvasa’s tenure.

Last November, executives from seven PBA clubs, namely Alaska, Blackwater, Meralco, NLEX, Phoenix, Rain or Shine and TNT, withdrew their support for Narvasa due to “loss of confidence”.

Seen as the last straw was Narvasa’s approval of the lopsided Kia-San Miguel trade which allowed the powerhouse Beermen to nab the No.1 pick and get Christian Standhardinger in the recent draft.

But executives from the other five teams–San Miguel, Magnolia, Ginebra, GlobalPort and Kia–backed Narvasa who insisted on not resigning unless the board clarifies their stand regarding his post.

The board has still failed to resolve the impasse despite holding their annual planning in the United States last month.

Despite the ongoing conflict, the PBA assured that the league’s opening will push through on December 17 with the San Miguel Beermen opening their title defense bid against the Phoenix Fuel Masters.