Philippine Daily Inquirer

Cage official big turn off


IT WAS supposed to be a happy occasion, a gathering of scribes covering the PBA and some league personalit­ies to welcome the new chair, Rene Pardo of B-Meg Derby Ace.

Mang Pards, as I fondly call him, wasn’t due to sit as chair until the end of the 2009-2010 season, but the sudden appointmen­t of predecesso­r Lito Alvarez as Bureau of Customs chief hastened the succession process.

Mang Pards was escorted by B-Meg team manager Alvin Patrimonio and liaison officer Jojo Peralta, while the PBA commission­er’s office was represente­d by media bureau chiefWilli­e Marcial and his assistant Dave Coros. Mediamen came in full force, led by PBA Press Corps president Tito Talao who took photos of the event all night with his digital camera.

*** I don’t recall exactly how the subject of this much-disliked persona was broached, but offhand, I would say it was at that point when one of the younger scribes—a tri-media man— arrived at the venue and was greeted by the welcome song of “Send in the Clowns” by a trio. The impromptu entertainm­ent number was followed by riotous laughter which I did not appreciate because I didn’t know what they were laughing about.

“Will somebody please tell me what’s funny?” I demanded. “Is this suppose to be a private joke?”

Obviously, I was one of the very few who still didn’t know or have not read what was recently written in a Twitter account owned by a basketball official everybody calls D. Monyo.

Reacting to a suggestion he didn’t like which was made on radio by the tri-media man and his guest, the basketball official retaliated by calling the two “clowns on radio” in his Twitter.

That night, as beer flowed freely, the “Everybody Hates D. Monyo Club” was born.

*** I was amazed to find out how many people hated this cage official, which is just about everybody. Except for three scribes, everybody signed up as members of the Hate Club. One scribe had left the party while another was out of the building smoking when themembers­hip paper for signature was passed around. The third scribe abstained because of ethical considerat­ion. Mang Pards, Alvin, and Jojo were not eligible to join because they felt neither hate nor love forMr. D.

Why does everybody hate this man? For several reasons.

“Remember I wrote about a player who was under his wing. He didn’t like what Iwrote so he threatened to sueme. I told him to dowhat he had to do,” related a scribe who used to write for a broadsheet but is now connected with a giant TV network. “To my surprise, he lashed back at me and called me an a**hole. In return I called him a disgraced official. He said, so what, may pera naman siya, unlikeme na mahirap pa sa daga and associated with Graham Lim.”

“He’s pikon, which is the least I expected from a sports leader, confrontat­ional and ungrateful to those he had used when he needed support and ideas. Feeling niya he’s God’s gift to basketball,” said another scribe.

From a colleague whose wrath has never subsided since an encounter with the cage official in 2007: “He’s downright rude, walang respeto sa kapwa, maliit ang tingin sa media at saksakan ng yabang as if siya lang ang magaling.”

*** Since the dinner with Mang Pards, the membership list of the Hate club has grown by leaps and bounds to include coaches, player agents, former and present associates, including those who had closelywor­ked with him.

A new club member, a PBA coach, gave me reasons why he hated the official: “He says one thing and does another, he’s egoistic and he has questionab­le credibilit­y and … ooops, never mind na, we might be sued for libel.”

 ?? Beth Celis ??
Beth Celis

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