Mikee Romero’s dream of joining the Philippine Basketball Association will finally happen next season.
PBA commissioner Chito Salud made this confirmation to InterAKTV, saying the businessman is dead serious in joining the pro league either as owner of a new franchise or through the acquisition of an existing one, if there’s a member team which will sell its franchise. Romero’s new franchise will carry the name Globalport.
“This is really significant. Mikee Romero felt this is a good time to enter the PBA, especially now that the league is on its way up again,” Salud told InterAKTV in a telephone interview.
“Mikee is a young man, only 41, and he expressed his interest in joining the PBA when he was 35 years old. I think now Mikee is more financially capable to join,” he added. “His difference with other interested parties is that he didn’t ask out of curiosity of joining the league, but he wants to join the league.”
Romero made his name in local basketball circuits when his Harbour Centre team established a league dynasty in the Philippine Basketball League, winning six straight championships. He then joined the ASEAN Basketball League and his Philippine Patriots team became the champions in the league’s inaugural staging three years ago.
As early as 2006, Romero expressed interest in joining the PBA. He was negotiating with Shell Philippines regarding the possible purchase of their PBA franchise, but the talks bogged down.
Welcoat ended up acquiring the Shell franchise, but Romero continued to pursue his dream.
In 2009, Romero had an agreement with the Lina Group to purchase the Burger King franchise and was handed control of the PBA squad, but the deal fell through.
A year later, Harbour Centre also had a co-branding sponsorship deal with the cash-strapped Barako Bull franchise.
» Terrence Romeo motivated by GlobalPort owner Mikee Romeroâ€™s challenge to reach semis: â€˜This is my gift to himâ€™
» GlobalPort team owner’s challenge to Terrence Romeo after FIBA Asia: Bring Batang Pier to PBA semis
» With Dorian PeÃ±a on board, GlobalPort adds another bruiser to veteran frontline