PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial assured that Rain or Shine isn’t going anywhere, as he dispelled rumors that the storied franchise is about to leave the league.
Online talk has it that the Elasto Painters are headed to the exit doors as they are struggling financially due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and that some of their key players are set to be shipped to other teams.
Marcial is actually aware of all that gossip but no less than team owner Raymond Yu, he said, gave him an assurance that the team is going nowhere.
“Kausap ko po mismo si Boss Raymond Yu na personal po akong tinawagan. Sinabi po niya, ‘Comm, hindi kami aalis ng PBA. Fake news yan. ‘Wag kang maniwala,'” he told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum Tuesday.
“Sinabi ko naman sa kanya, ‘Sir alam ko naman eh,'” he added in the session powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.
The Asian Coatings Philippines, Inc.-owned team joined the PBA in 2006 following its acquisition of the Shell franchise. It carried the Welcoat banner in its first two seasons before making the switch to Rain or Shine.
Since then, the Elasto Painters have become one of the league’s watched teams especially during the tenure of Coach Yeng Guiao, where they had a total of six Finals appearances and won two championships.
Rumors of a team leaving Asia’s pioneering pro league is nothing new. Just last June, the Alaska Aces became the talk of the town for the very same reason, although Marcial was quick to squash all that talk.
And so the third-year league chief reiterated that Rain or Shine is staying put following the guarantee made by Yu.
“Kasi halos every other day naguusap kami ni Boss Raymond, wala naman siyang nababanggit sa’kin na ganun. At sinabi nga niya, nung nalaman niya, tumawag sakin nung gabi, ‘Comm, hindi kami aalis sa PBA,'” he said.