MANILA, Philippines – Vince Hizon, Rickie Santos, Jay Adalem, Mark Fischer, Charlie Cuna, and Danny Seigle completed the 6-man shortlist for the PBA Commissioner post, the league announced Thursday, April 9 before game 3 of the Purefoods-Talk ’N Text semifinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Outgoing Commissioner Chito Salud along with PBA Chairman Pato Gregorio and Ray Canilao of Global Executive Solutions, the PBA's appointed headhunter, presented to the media the final 6 after a rigorous search over the last 2 months.
Adalem, 45, is the current Chair of the Finance Committee of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chairman of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU).
Cuna, 42, is an associate of the Santiago and Santiago law firm but is best known as a PBA TV commentator.
Fischer, 54, is the only American on the list and was a former Managing Director of NBA China, a former General Manager of NBA Taiwan and is currently a consultant for UFC Asia. Canilao said they targeted Fischer because of his vast experience in establishing the NBA in the Asia Pacific and introducing it to the Philippines as well.
Hizon, 44, is a former PBA player and is currently the Commissioner of the PhilSports Basketball Association.
Seigle, 38, was the surprise name on the list as he is the youngest and is still an active player for the PBA with Talk 'N Text.
Seigle photo by PBA Images, Hizon photo from his Twitter account
Lastly, Santos, 48, is the Operations Director of the PBA.
PBA's announcement of the 6-man shortlist for the commissioner post — Part 1 #pba2015 @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/cI4HKkNnwd — Jane Bracher (@janebracher) April 9, 2015
PBA's announcement of the 6-man shortlist for the commissioner post — Part 2 #pba2015 @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/FMvQuXPHc7 — Jane Bracher (@janebracher) April 9, 2015
PBA's announcement of the 6-man shortlist for the commissioner post — Part 3 #pba2015 @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/Kcdwmugkno — Jane Bracher (@janebracher) April 9, 2015
The 6 names were whittled down from a pool of 18 candidates and were selected based on a strict set of criteria.
The qualifications include "somebody who can help Chito Salud bring the PBA to the next level, they are looking for somebody who has time and commitment, who loves basketball, and who can really join the games on a daily basis or a 24/7 arrangement," Canilao explained.
"Second, somebody who has technical capability and understands basketball, who understands officiating, who has got an eye for certain calls. Third, somebody who has got stature and personality, who is respected in the industry, who has got good communication skills, who has got integrity and also who is confident, and more importantly, who can also work with the president and CEO and the ManComm of the PBA.
"Fourth, somebody who has leadership capability and has strategic capabilities," Canilao further explained. "That's a person who can deal with the owners, who can deal with the coaches, who can deal with the Board of Governors, the players, and the technical people and referees. And somebody who can also manage the D-League and bring it also to another level."
Canilao also noted that they were transparent with the candidates regarding the salary range.
Being an American and based abroad, Fischer's inclusion in the shortlist raised questions of whether his salary requirement fits the PBA's range, but Salud assured that all 6 candidates passed the criteria.
Salud announced in February he will be stepping down as league commissioner by the end of the season after 5 years in office. He is set to take up a new position as Chief Executive Officer and President of the PBA.
The next step in the selection process, according to 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.