PBA to vote on application of new nember in Macau

MACAU - The entry of Sultan 900 Inc., an investment company chaired by businessman Mikee Romero of Harbour Centre, tops the agenda when the Philippine Basketball Association Board of Governors convenes its annual planning session Friday afternoon at the Venetian Hotel here.

The PBA entourage, headed by commissioner Chito Salud and outgoing chairman Mert Mondragon of Rain or Shine, departs for the former Portuguese colony at noon via Philippine Airlines flight PR352.

The assumption of Barangay Ginebra governor Robert Non as PBA chairman for the 38th season will also be formalized during the three-day conference, along with the naming of Meralco's Ramon Segismundo as vice chairman and Petron's Ely Capacio as treasurer.

Sultan 900 Inc. purchased Coca-Cola's Powerade franchise for approximately P60 million, according to reports confirmed by Coke officials and several league governors, leaving the submission of pertinent documents to the PBA and the two-thirds vote of the board as the only remaining preconditions to the Romero firm's official entry.

The papers were to have been submitted Thursday afternoon at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.

An earlier PBA statement, made after Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. informed Salud in a letter of the sale and transfer of the Powerade franchise to Sultan 900 Inc., said the "office will convene the Board of Governors to secure the approval of two-thirds of its membership at the soonest possible time after the requisite documents from the parties have been secured and due diligence required under the constitution of the PBA has been completed by the commissioner."

That final approval could be secured during the session, leaving the league with a 10-team roster.

Also up for discussion, said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial, is the 38th season budget, plans and proposals from ABC-5 chief operating officer Bobby Barreiro, and Salud's own projection for the coming year, with talks centered on modifications in the three-conference format and the import height limit for the Commissioner's and Governors' Cup.

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