19 February 2015

Part 3: What is the Legacy of Commissioner Salud?

Salud Legacy
Third of Four Parts

Special Treatment for the 'Pambansang Kamao'

There was an allegation last year (2014) that Salud extended some form of special privilege to Manny Pacquiao when he decided to apply for the PBA draft because he is ... Manny Pacquiao.

The 35-year-old boxer went to the league office in Libis to have his biometrics measured after failing to attend the two-day Gatorade Draft Combine last 18-19 August 2014. Pacquiao said he was attending to some pertinent matters in Sarangani Province, where he is the district’s lone representative to the House of Congress, and could not make the draft camp.

There is nothing wrong with the excuse submitted by Pacquiao and the PBA was just respectful to the country's boxing sensation when it extended it operation to accommodate him. Except that draftees in the past were not given the same consideration even if they have more valid reasons.

Worse is that the flimsy excuse of Pacquiao was taken hook, line and sinker by the PBA. It was all over the news that the boxer played a game with his MP Hotel team in a Davao invitational tournament last 19 August. The game may have been at night, but if the travel time was factored in, he could have attended the biometrics, skills tests and scrimmages in the Gatorade PBA Draft Combine.

Also, if Pacquiao did indeed finish the required tests, why was the result kept from the media and why was it held in close doors? Other PBA hopefuls were freely evaluated by PBA scouts, basketball analysts and avid fans when they worked their butts off at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong. Why make special arrangement with the boxer? Did he really undergo the test or not?

Salud later on reiterated the league is not giving the global boxing icon any special treatment.

"Walang special treatment. Valid ang excuse niya (Manny) kaya ok sa PBA," said Salud, who added Pacquiao always tries to keep in touch with his office and ask about the different activities happening around the league.

Two Questionable Rulings Only 3 Hours Apart

Salud made two major questionable rulings over two events that happened less than 3 hours between each other.

It all happened on 1 July 2014, before the start of the PBA Governor’s Cup best-of-five Finals Series. During the PBA lottery process, Salud did drew a GlobalPort ball, giving the Mikee Romero-owned franchise the top pick in next season's rookie draft, but how did he do it?

Strike one for Salud cam in three forms. First, the lottery box was set-up in the middle of the basketball court. The inside of the box was not shown to the public and the public has no way of knowing what is inside it because it is not translucent.

Second, Salud put all three balls inside the box, two of which were market GlobalPort and one ball for Meralco. But when he put the ball with his hands inside, he did not pull them out to show that he is not already holding the ball. Instead he drew back his “magic” hand now holding a single ball.

Lastly, there were no representatives from the Meralco Bolts in the event nor from Rain or Shine, which holds the right for the Bolts’ pick. Why?

Questions were raised online, but they were hardly heard because of the excitement brought by the first game.

(To be continued ...)

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