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Barako’s sale to Air21 needs 7 votes from PBA Board members

June 15, 2011 8:08pm

Barako Bull’s sale to Air21 will have to wait for the next few days.

On Wednesday, the PBA Board decided to undergo the supposed sale of the energy and food company to the Lina Group of Companies through a voting process.

Seven votes are needed for the approval of the franchise sale, a number which is achievable for Barako and Air21, which have voting rights.

“They only need five. Barako and Air21 have voting rights, so I think they can achieve the magic number of seven or two thirds of the total votes of the Board," said PBA chairman Rene Pardo of B-Meg Derby Ace.

PBA commissioner Atty. Chito Salud confirmed that his office received a letter of intent signed by representatives of Barako and Air21 regarding the franchise sale.

“They told us that they’ve already agreed in principle, but the sale is of course, subject to the approval of the Board," said Salud.

Last month, Barako Bull entered an agreement with Phoenix Petroleum, a staunch supporter of the PBA’s road games, regarding the sale of its franchise to the rising petroleum company from the south.

The supposed sale was not approved as it did not get the required number of votes.

Barako Bull has until August to sell its franchise to its prospective buyer or face the consequences of losing it eventually.

“That’s what we’ve given them. We gave them until August or end of the 36th season to find a buyer. Otherwise, they will lose their franchise," said Pardo. “And even if they do intend to rejoin next season, their capability of maintaining a team will be questioned."

Pardo’s statement was based on facts.

The once proud and mighty squad won three championships in its first seven seasons under the tutelage of multi-titled mentor Yeng Guiao.

But when financial crisis hounded the squad, Barako Bull was forced to unload its marquee players one after another, among them two-time Most Valuable Player Willie Miller, Kerby Raymundo, Enrico Villanueva, Cyrus Baguio, Mick Pennisi, Lordy Tugade, Junthy Valenzuela and Larry Fonacier just to stay in the league.

This season, Barako did not participate in two of the three conferences, fueling speculations that the squad is on its way out.

Owning two or more teams a thing of the past

Air21 can join the ranks of San Miguel Corporation and Talk N Text as teams which were able to own two or more squads.

San Miguel also owns B-Meg Derby Ace and Ginebra while Talk N Text is sister company of Meralco, both teams being bankrolled and controlled by businessman/sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan.

But Toyota, a fabled team owned by the Silverio family of Delta Motors, also has a sister team during the PBA’s early years, according to basketball historian Jay P. Mercado.

“Although this wasn’t given much highlight, Toyota and Filmanbank are two teams owned by the Silverios," said Mercado, a resident writer of MYPBA and Pinoy Exchange and also a writer/historian of a cable network that shows classic PBA games.

Mercado’s claim was also given authenticity by Atty. Percival Flores, another basketball historian and a follower of local basketball dating back to the MICAA, the precursor of the PBA.

“Toyota and Filmanbank are sister teams," said Atty. Flores, who works as a legal counsel of one of the leading land developers in the country. “Don Pablo Carlos, owner of Toyota, is the team manager of Filmanbank and these sister teams even met in the 1978 All-Filipino Finals." - KBK, GMA News
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