PBA's 9th commissioner: Who is Chito Narvasa?
MANILA, Philippines – Andres "Chito" Narvasa Jr’s renewal as Commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is as slim as could be: 7 of the 12-man PBA board of governors said they will “no longer endorse or support” him.
Citing “loss of confidence,” incoming board chairman Ramoncito Fernandez on Thursday, November 2, said that the board is letting Narvasa’s term expire at the end of the 42nd season. (READ: PBA Board won't extend term of Commissioner Chito Narvasa)
The decision comes days after Narvasa confirmed that he approved the controversial trade that would send the Kia Picanto’s No. 1 overall pick during the PBA Draft to the San Miguel Beermen. This move was criticized by teams and supporters alike.
The PBA board, however, said it was not the basis for the decision to not support Narvasa’s bid to extend his term as commissioner.
Rise to the top
Son of former chief justice Andres Narvasa who led the High Court from 1991 to 1998, Narvasa was involved in the banking industry for years prior to his stint in the PBA.
Then chairperson Pato Gregorio referred to the decision to name Narvasa commissioner as an “unprecedented and historic decision” because the board “wants the PBA to grow.”
The appointment came after Chito Salud announced his resignation as commissioner in February 2015. Salud enjoyed a 5-year run during which he helped increase the viewership and attendance of various PBA games.
In March 2016, Narvasa was also appointed chief executive officer (CEO) on top of his responsibilities as commissioner. He took over the position after former commissioner Salud, the first ever CEO of the league after organizational restructure, resigned in December 2015 – barely a year after accepting the job.
As CEO, Narvasa took on a more managerial role which included handling corporate communications, finance, marketing, administrative, and legal matters, among others.
Back to basketball
His stint in the league starting in 2015 was considered a “comeback" in the PBA.
His last foray into professional basketball was when he served as coach of Shell and Purefoods from 1995 to 1998. He also previously suited for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the late 1970s.
Narvasa went on to continue his work in the banking industry. He became the director of United Coconut Bank from 1998 to 2001 and the chief executive officer of the Citystate Savings Bank from 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In the late 2000s, Narvasa’s activities focused on collegiate basketball.
He was the tournament commissioner of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) in 2008 and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 2007.
Prior to his appointment as PBA commissioner in 2015, Narvasa was president of the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines.
The Kia-Beermen trade is not the first issue to hound Narvasa. In fact, his term as commissioner has been marred by many controversies.
Narvasa was known for pointing fingers at PBA players such as Talk 'N Text import Ivan Johnson in February 2016 and Alaska shooting guard Dondon Hontiveros in January 2016, even prompting fans to call for his resignation.
Johnson was fined and banned for life from the PBA for “addressing the Commissioner with profanities and showing utter disrespect for authority,” according to a league statement.
Narvasa was also the one who slapped the permanent ban on reporter Snow Badua from all PBA activities in September 2015. With the latest controversy involving the Kia-Beermen trade, the PBA board denied it was the reason or the last straw that prompted their withdrawal of support for Narvasa’s term renewal as commissioner. – Rappler.com