Barrios Back in the PBA as OIC

On: 14 August 2007

“I’d like to repay the league with my service in this transition period” – Sonny B
Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Roll out the “Welcome Back” carpet for an old hand.

After almost five years out of the limelight, Renauld Barrios is back on the hot seat, this time as the Philippine Basketball Association’s Officer-in-Charge while the league continues its hunt for a permanent commissioner.

Barrios, more popularly known in basketball circles as “Sonny B,” served the PBA for 18 years in various capacities, ending his stint in 2002 as the league’s Executive Director under his bosom buddy, the late Commissioner Jun Bernardino. Barrios was unanimously chosen to succeed commissioner Noli Eala in the interim after the Board of Governors set the parameters for the OIC.The selection came as a surprise to many as most of the dailies pointed to former Senator Freddie Webb as the shoo-in for the post.

In the same meeting at the Makati Shangri-La, the Board formally elected Red Bull’s Tony Chua as the new chairman, Alaska’s Joaqui Trillo as vice chairman and Barangay Ginebra’s Robert Non as treasurer.

Outgoing PBA chairman Ricky Vargas said Barrios, 59, would serve purely as OIC without a fixed term.

"We reviewed our criteria and Sonny Barrios came out as our unanimous choice as OIC," said Vargas.

"He had the inside track because he knows the PBA well. Second, we read in the papers that he’s not interested to be the permanent commissioner and just willing to help the PBA during the transition period. I called him up and he confirmed it," said Vargas.

One of the criteria set by the Board is the person named OIC automatically loses the chance to be the permanent commissioner.

With all the parameters deliberated on and set, the Board quickly got a consensus to name Barrios as the OIC. The Governors insisted they never went to vote.

According to Trillo, Webb wasn’t named the OIC but he’s a strong contender for the commissionership for the long haul.

Chua said they would form a five-man committee to work on the search. The OIC is also to help in the selection process.

"It happened so fast. I had no inkling I’ll be back in the PBA," said Barrios, who also served as acting commissioner when Bernardino was on sickbay before giving way to the entry of Eala after the 2002 season.

Barrios is to immediately report for work starting Tuesday. He’s open to serve the league for only a short while as his family has set up a care home for the developmentally disabled in Sacramento, California.

"This is payback time even for just a short period. Ibabalik ko sa PBA the benefits I derived serving them the first 18 years. I’d like to repay them with my service in this transition period which is critical to the league," said Barrios.

He sees no need to make drastic changes in running the affairs and operations of the league in his re-entry.

"Because I’d not been in touch, I’ll just see what’s there. There are approved plans and programs so I’m not starting from step one. May plataporma na and from what I heard, maganda ang ginawa ng mama (Eala)," Barrios said.

Barrios thought the late former commissioner Jun Bernardino "is up there cheering for me." He was with the Bernardino family as the departed PBA commissioner was enshrined to the Hall of Fame during the PBA Press Corps Awards night Sunday at Bayview Park Hotel.

"I’m following imminent persons in this position. So I’m so humbled in accepting it. I have to rise to the occasion," Barrios said.

Sonny B is back home, at least for now. Source: PBA Site

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