Romero pays P100M for franchise

As promised, businessman Mikee Romero submitted yesterday the deed of assignment where his company - Sultan 900 Capital Inc. - paid a whopping P100 million to acquire the Powerade franchise, making it the most expensive buy-out to date in league history.

Earlier, the franchise was reported (not by Bulletin) to be worth only P60 million but it was Romero himself who clarified that he forked out P100 million in order to acquire the franchise and fulfill his childhood dream of owning a PBA team.

When Rain or Shine (formerly Welcoat) entered the league in 2006, it paid a little over P30 million to take the franchise of Shell.

With the deed of sale now ready for scrutiny, the fate of Romero is now in the hands of the PBA Board of Governors which had sole authority whether to accept or deny his entry to the PBA family.

If given the green light by the Board, Romero intends to name his team as the Global Port Batang Pier.

The board, now chaired by Robert Non of Barangay Ginebra, has scheduled a special board meeting tomorrow at the PBA Office.

To get an approval from the board, Sultan 900 Capital Inc. needs a two-third vote.

So far, several PBA team officials have been supportive of the franchise sale, including former chair Atty. Mert Mondragon of Rain or Shine and Alaska representative Joaqui Trillo.

"We welcome that development, it's good for the league," said Trillo.

"The commissioner will review it (documents), then he'll make a recommendation. If there are question, we'll evaluate the documents again that were presented, and then the board will discuss it (for approval)," said Mondragon.

Meantime, rookie applicants having second thoughts about turning pro have until noon today to withdraw their names from the list of candidates for the 2012 PBA Draft on Aug. 19 at Robinsons Manila.

The PBA is leaving a window open for amateur players who do not want to risk getting overrun by the huge amount of talent set to make the big leap to professional basketball.

At the Club 650 gym in Libis, Quezon City yesterday, 65 applicants, led by potential No. 1 pick Junmar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Clifford Hodge, Chris Tiu and Alex Christopher Mallari, underwent biometrics and agility tests from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

The tests were conducted by PBA technical manager Ramil Cruz.

In biometrics and agility analysis, players are asked to do maximum number of pushups, sit-ups and pull-ups. They are also made to undergo a 50-meter sprint and vertical jumps.

"No, the skills and talent of the players were not determined because no scrimmages were held, only tests for strength and athleticism," said Cruz.

With most of the candidates having played in the PBA Developmental League, the PBA deemed it unnecessary to hold drills since PBA coaches and their assistants are already familiar with the capabilities of the incoming rookies, especially those that could be gone in the first two rounds.

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