Powerade Tigers team executive Ronald Asuncion said there’s no truth to rumors that Coca-Cola’s PBA franchise is for sale.
“I think it’s one of our critics’ way of psyching out our team, which is doing good in the Governors’ Cup,” Asuncion told InterAKTV in a telephone interview. Powerade has won four straight games, sitting in third place in the tournament. “We’re really focused on entering the semifinals and probably making another run to the finals.”
The team’s intent to stay in the league has been the subject of much speculation in the past months. Last February, InterAKTV unearthed a document showing that CCBPI had offered to sell the Tigers to San Miguel Corporation in November for P100 million. The document was signed by CCBPI chairman William Schultz and addressed to SMC president Ramon Ang.
Officials from both CCBPI and SMC said that no sale had transpired between the two companies, but admitted that there had indeed been talks about a transaction.
The offer for sale came amid reports that a Mexico-based Coke bottler, Coca-Cola FEMSA, was working on a deal to buy its Philippine counterpart from The Coca-Cola Company. Officials of CCBPI denied that moves to sell the PBA franchise had anything to do with the business transaction.
Powerade became subject to speculation once more as a possible team for sale after businessman Mikee Romero expressed that he was interested in joining the PBA. A co-owner of the Philippine Patriots in the ASEAN Basketball League, Romero has tried to buy into a league franchise.
In 2009, Romero had an agreement to purchase Burger King and was handed control of the PBA squad, but the deal fell through.
The PBA on Wednesday issued a statement that there’s currently no team available for sale.
“No ball club has indicated an intention to sell at this time. Mr. Romero’s interest in joining the league is a positive sign that the PBA is healthy, viable and attractive as platform for marketing and advertisement,” said league commissioner Chito Salud in the statement.
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