League OIC Willie Marcial promoted to PBA commissioner

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PBA Media Bureau

PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial has been promoted to full-fledged commissioner, the league announced on Thursday.

Marcial, 56, is the 10th commissioner in the league’s 43-year history. He was given a three-year term by the PBA Board of Governors.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas called Marcial, who had served as the league’s media bureau chief prior to the appointment, the “healing commissioner” as he replaced the controversial Chito Narvasa who resigned last year.

Narvasa drew flak due to his approval of the lopsided Kia-San Miguel trade which allowed the Beermen to nab Christian Standhardinger with the top pick.

“As you know the PBA board has gone through a very difficult time before the opening of this season. And we’re looking for somebody that can put it together and help us heal the process as there will be a lot of changes as we move along,” Vargas said.

“At this time, it’s important to give it to somebody who grew up in the PBA, who understands the PBA, the by-laws; who has been mentored by many PBA commissioners in the past. He’s one who has learned over the years in the PBA.”

Unlike in the past, the board did away with a tedious search for the next commissioner and instead opted to retain Marcial who earned the post without any objection.

Marcial joined the PBA management team during the tenure of former commissioner Noli Eala from 2003 to 2007. He also once worked as the league’s statistician and floor director for the league’s telecast.