Narvasa: talent and skill, not physical strength, will keep players in PBA
MANILA, Philippines – Aside from improving the officiating in the PBA, new league commissioner Chito Narvasa hopes to also make sure that talent and skill will be the factors that keep players in the league, not just physical strength.
Talking to Rappler in an exclusive interview last week, Narvasa emphasized how just being strong and having the ability to be an enforcer in the league shouldn’t be good enough to keep you in the PBA.
“I like watching basketball here now, because people are moving their feet on defense. Before, no,” said the first-year commissioner.
“Here, before, I remember… if you were strong, you can survive. Here, no. To me, if you’re good in basketball, you have good skills, you have the talent, you will survive.”
Just recently, a high-profile PBA game was subject to criticism when a commotion took place during Game 2 of the Philippine Cup semifinals between Alaska and GlobalPort.
The incident led to no suspensions, but a total fine worth P91,200 was issued. During the tussle, Narvasa was also seen entering the playing court and pointing at Aces forward Dondon Hontiveros.
“See, you cannot do that anymore. You have to have the skill, and this is what people come here to watch, is to watch excellence in basketball.”
Narvasa also offered a specific instance:
“I’m a good shooter? You have to stop me by guarding me legally, within the rules. Not dirty,” he said.
Physicality has been a long-time issue in the PBA, but Narvasa says the league now uses new rules to not motivate such type of incidents.
Referees are quicker to make calls now, and behind closed curtains, the league reviews the decisions its officials make during close games, although results of such reviews aren’t being shown to the public yet.
“The emphasis here is on talent. If you do not have the talent; if you’re just big and strong here, I’ll tell you: you will not survive under the rules,” said Narvasa.
“Not yet, because we want to be able to give a chance to the referees," the commissioner said when asked why results of officiating reviews aren’t being announced. “It gives them a chance to improve right away, so I think at that point in time, it’s first for our own purposes: how to improve the referees first.”
But Narvasa did say that eventually, the league may consider making the reviews available to the public.
“A work in progress, so I want to make sure that one, I think probably after one year, so next year 2017, then we can start thinking about it. That’s the time we can start thinking of making it public already.” – Rappler.com