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Romero’s group out of Burger King, Lina Group takes control anew

March 14, 2009 5:32pm

MANILA, Philippines — The deal between Burger King and the group of Harbour Centre owner Mikee Romero is off.

Romero, whose team Harbour Centre established a dynasty in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL), assumed the management role for the Burger King franchise in the Philippine Basketball Association last January.

For Romero, it was a fulfillment of his dream to enter the pro league – a dream that lasted for only three months.

“I wish to thank Bert Lina and Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan for the opportunity to run the Burger King Titans from January to March," said Romero in a statement he issued to mediamen. “It was a dream come true for me to finally run a PBA team. Unfortunately, the dream must take a backseat as my group and Burger King company did not come to terms."

With Romero’s group not coming to terms with the Lina Group of Companies, the majority owner of Burger King, and the other stakeholders of the franchise that include Bert Lina and Lito Alvarez of Air21, Pangilinan, Wilson Young of Basic Holdings Corporation and Ricky Vargas of Talk N Text, expect changes in management and coaching personnel of the Titans, who have won two of their first three games this conference.

Alvarez, the incoming chairman of the PBA, is expected to assume his old role as team manager and board representative of the squad.

“I will assume the role as team manager and since I’m not yet prohibited to sit on the bench, I will be there on the bench most of the time as I will only be active in the PBA Office next season," Alvarez told GMANews.TV. “Expect some changes in the coaching staff."

Alvarez, however, said that Guiao will remain as the head coach of the team. The other members of the coaching staff, which include Junel Baculi and George Gallent, will be replaced. So as Erick Arejola, who was appointed team manager by Romero.

“About the changes, I have to discuss it with the other stakeholders of Burger King," said Alvarez. “We will also decide whether to give Yeng a free hand in choosing his assistant coaches. At this point, hindi naman siguro mamasamain ng grupo ni Mikee na changes should be done because when they took over, our present members of the coaching staff were also bumped off and forced to look for other jobs. Even the ball boys. But that’s how things should be, you have to work with people you are comfortable working with."

Romero and his group temporarily assumed running Burger King’s PBA team on the discussions of the company’s expansion program.

The Lina Group gave Romero a free hand in running the basketball affairs, making changes in coaching personnel, management and utilities.

A source revealed that the deal of the expansion did not push through after Harbour failed to close out a deal with the Metro Pacific Company in the selling of its port company to Pangilinan’s Group. The amount is reportedly the one that should be used for the expansion program of Burger King, which has a total of 63 outlets in the Philippines.

Guiao, head coach of Burger King and presently the national team mentor, was clueless when asked about his reaction.

“I really don’t know what to say and I really don’t know kung ano madadatnan ko sa game," said Guiao."

Burger King was all set to play Talk N Text yesterday when Romero issued his statement. - GMANews.TV
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