Eala steps down as PBA commish

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Eala steps down as PBA commish

Post by Patrimonio on Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:06 am

Noli Eala, who rose from the ranks of
broadcasting to become the top honcho of the country’s biggest sports
entertainment industry, yesterday resigned as commissioner of the
Philippine Basketball Association in the aftermath of his disbarment by
the Supreme Court.

“To ease the pain of the people who matter
most to me, my family especially my children and to shield the league I
truly care for with so much passion from any erroneous perceptions
related to my disbarment case, I’m tendering my immediate resignation,”
said Eala in a statement read before the media at the PBA office.

He was disbarred by the high court for “grossly immoral conduct.”

“It is a painful decision brought about by
a painful personal circumstance but I have always believed that the PBA
is bigger than any one man, one team, one player or one team owner,”
Eala added.

Eala, 44, ended his statement by appealing
that he be allowed to deal with his personal ordeal privately, then
left his seat, returning back to his room followed by some staff
members who were in tears.

He met with the PBA personnel a few hours earlier, bidding his farewell to them.

A former TV anchorman who succeeded the
late Emilio “Jun” Bernardino as PBA take-charge guy at the end of the
2002 season, Eala said he’s leaving the PBA “cognizant and gratified
that I have turned things around with the help of the PBA board, my
hardworking staff and the greatest players any commissioner can ever
have.”

He added: “The PBA has scaled new heights
and reached new goals – financially stable, organizationally sound and
still the biggest sports entertainment property of the Philippines.”

He quit his post in the PBA although he vowed to continue to pursue and exhaust all legal remedies in his disbarment case.

The Supreme Court, in a nine-page decision
on Aug. 1, disbarred Eala due to a “grossly immoral conduct” that
stemmed from an extramarital affair.

The PBA board held a special board meeting earlier in the day at EDSA Shangri-La Plaza and voted, 6-3, to ask Eala to resign.

Red Bull, Sta. Lucia, Alaska Milk, Talk n Text, Coca-Cola and Air21 counted for the majority vote.

It was Eala’s first day in office following his return from Tokushima, Japan where he served as the RP delegation head in the recent 2007 FIBA-Asia championship.

Eala had had big involvement in the RP
team, playing a key role in the formation of the BAP-Samahang Basketbol
ng Pilipinas, of which he became a trustee.

Before the end of the 2003 season, Eala
proposed to the PBA board a new two-conference format which is now
being enforced. The board also approved Eala’s plan to move the league
calendar from February to December to October to July, which took
effect in 2004.
Eala served as PBA commissioner for four
seasons. He was the league’s sixth commissioner after Leo Prieto,
Mariano Yenko, Rudy Salud, Ray Marquez and Bernardino.
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