07 December 2015

Another Woeful Choice by the PBA

Ricky Vargas
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) recently announced that Chairman Robert Non will be taking over the reign as the league’s Presidents and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) once Chito Salud resigns at the end of the year.

The league will look for a more permanent replacement for Salud, but in the meantime, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) PBA governor will assume his functions. Non is also the head of the SMC basketball operation.

Is this good or bad? If the experience of top Talk ‘N Text governor Ricky Vargas is any indication, then the league just shot itself in the foot with Non’s temporary appointment.

Last year, during the Texters and the San Miguel Beermen best-of-seven Philippine Cup semifinals match, Vargas accused Non of using his influence to intimidate the referees, which led to Talk ‘N text falling behind by 2 games (0-2) against SMB.

In the report of Snow Badua of Spin.ph, Non was initially incessant and slammed Talk 'N Text coach Jong Uichico for his tirade against the referees after an 81-87 second game loss. He said Uichico's conduct was "unbecoming a coach of his stature."

However, Vargas said it was a case of 'look who's talking.' Vargas stressed that between Uichico and Non, it is the top San Miguel official whose actions are uncalled for, saying Non unlike most governors regularly sits on the SMB bench during games and "harasses game officials."

"His attitude and his behavior on the court is the one that is uncalled for. He is a governor yet he intimidates the referees, he intimidates the game officials, he goes (inside the court)," Vargas told Spin.ph.

"It’s a behavior unbecoming of a governor. He should take a look at himself. Nag-re-react lang ako sa statement ni Robert Non. Why is he so sensitive? It’s sort of an over-reaction. He should look at himself rather than point a finger,” Vargas added.

Vargas claimed that since PBA governors are in a position of power and can therefore influence game officials, they should have the delicadeza to inhibit themselves from game-related matters.

"Governor ka eh. May impluwensya ka. Ikaw ang bumuboto sa mga rules ng liga. Isa ka sa mga nagde-decide sa batas ng liga. Tapos makikita kang nagagalit sa referee, natural may possibility na ma-i-intimidate sa 'yo ang mga game officials," he said.

"Sa grupo ba namin ( sa MVP camp), may nakikita kayo na governor na umuupo sa bench tapos naninita ng referees? Wala! Kasi sa amin, alam namin kung saan kami dapat lumugar. May delicadeza kami," added the soft-spoken former PBA chairman.

"We don’t sit on the bench. May nakita ka bang governor ng team namin who sits on the bench? May ibang teams, umuupo ang governor nila. Pero hindi ganun ang demeanor nila," he said.

"Proper decorum states that a governor like Non who is in a position to influence games should refrain from sitting on the bench - or complain about calls by referees," Vargas said.

"Kung governor ka pagagalitan mo yung referee sa gitna ng laro? Di ba naiintimidate yung referee … kasi governor ka eh. Hindi ka lang governor, naging chairman ka pa, vice chairman ka pa (ngayon), anong klaseng ugali yun?" Vargas stressed.

"Natatakot ang referees eh. Siyempre ang mga referees, natatakot sa kabuhayan nila. Yung chairman (ngayon) si Pato (Gregorio), he doesn’t sit on the bench of the team … delicadeza ba. His mere presence somehow threatens the refs. May nadinig ka ba na governor na na-technical foul? Wala, kasi he is in the seat of power," he added.

Vargas called for a more stringent implementation of league rules, insisting that high-ranking team officials who insist on sitting on the bench should be sanctioned like any member of the team.

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