As the PBA moves on from the leadership of outgoing commissioner Chito Narvasa, the search is now on for the next man who will replace him at the helm.
If you ask Rain or Shine team owner Raymond Yu, there’s only one guy who’s fit for the job.
“I think Yeng Guiao is the ideal commissioner of the PBA,” Yu said. “He’s been a commissioner before (in the PBL). He can govern because he’s been a long-time politician and he knows the ins and outs of the PBA.
“At this point in time, what the PBA needs is somebody who’s not been away from the PBA.”
While he made his mark in coaching, the temperamental Guiao served as PBL commissioner from 1997 to 2000.
After that stint, Guiao returned to the PBA sidelines as head coach of Red Bull which he transformed into champions in the early 2000s.
Apart from his endeavors in Philippine basketball, Guiao also served as a public official in Pampanga. He was elected as board member, vice governor and congressman in a span of almost two decades.
Like Yu, San Miguel Beer team executive Gee Abanilla, a former assistant coach of Guiao, also believes his former mentor is qualified to become the next PBA commissioner.
“He has handled the PBL then outstandingly and I don’t see any reason why he can’t duplicate that in the PBA. He has a great mind, compassion, vision and love for the game,” Abanilla said.
But he would rather see Guiao work his magic in the sidelines as a coach than as a commissioner.
“Unfortunately, we don’t want to take away a great coach in the PBA, do we?” Abanilla added.
Guiao said there’s a possibility that he would entertain the idea–after he’s done coaching, that is. For now, he is contented working for the NLEX Road Warriors as their head coach and general manager.
“Malabong mangyari yun eh. Alam naman natin yun,” Guiao said.
“If I’m not coaching, I would think about that. But I really love coaching. I would not trade coaching for commissionership. It’s what I love doing. Siguro, kung retired na ako.”
Nevertheless, Guiao gave his take on the tough task that awaits the next commissioner after an impasse involving the league’s board members which was resolved when Narvasa resigned.
“You have the MVP Group, you have the San Miguel Group and you have the independent group. The next commissioner should have the trust and confidence of all these groups,” he said.
“It’s an advantage for someone who is being groomed as the next commissioner to be someone who’s not been away from the league for quite some time, but not necessarily a must.”