MANILA, Philippines – Most unfamiliar in the list of 6 as candidates for the PBA Commissioner post is Mark Fischer but he made it to the shortlist because of his impressive credentials and “bright ideas” for the 40-year old league.
Fischer, 54, is an American with extensive experience in growing the NBA brand across the Asia Pacific for over a decade. He is also said to have introduced the NBA to the Philippines.
Ray Canilao of Global Executive Solutions, the PBA’s appointed headhunter for the commissioner post, said they initiated contact with Fischer as they broadened their search across the ASEAN.
“He loves basketball and he’s very interested to look into the opportunity as far as the position,” Canilao said of Fischer, who is a Harvard University graduate. “He has bright ideas and many suggestions, even looking at the possibility of transplanting PBA in Asia.”
Of the 6 remaining candidates, Fischer arguably has the beefiest resume despite not having much of a PBA background.
He was a former Managing Director of NBA China and a former General Manager of NBA Taiwan. His current job title is consultant to UFC Asia.
“He played during his college years and he played professional basketball in Taiwan. He was with the NBA Asia Pacific for 10 years. You can imagine his exposure,” said Canilao, who shared they reached out to Fischer via email then conversed with him through Skype before ultimately interviewing him.
Fischer worked in various parts of the region including HongKong, Taiwan and China. He is now based in Singapore.
Despite the variety among the candidates, Canilao said there is one common denominator tying them all together.
“They all love basketball,” he said. “They all want to grow basketball in the Philippines, maybe not only here but also outside of the Philippines. They all have the technical capability and understanding of basketball. They all have the integrity and leadership and also the respect. Finally, they are really open to seriously look at this.”
The next step in the selection process, according to outgoing Commissioner Chito Salud, is to trim down the 6 names to 3 and the PBA’s Board of Governors will interview them within the next 2 weeks and decide on the final 2 individuals. The new commissioner will be chosen, at the latest, by May 15. – Rappler.com