MANILA, Philippines - Young business mogul Mikee Romero has finally realized his long cherished dream of having a team in the local pro loop with the completion of the sale and transfer of Powerade team to Sultan 900 Inc.
Sultan 900 Inc., owned and chaired by Romero, bought the Powerade squad lock, stock and barrel reportedly for around P60 million.
League sources said the approval of the board is merely a formality.
Romero was not available for comment as he’s in London as part of the official Philippine delegation in the 2012 Olympics. He backs the participation of skeet shooter Brian Rosario in his capacity as president of the Philippine National Shooting Association.
Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. informed the PBA Commissioner’s Office of the sale in a letter yesterday.
"This office will convene the board of governors to secure the approval of two-thirds of its membership at the soonest possible time after the requisite documents from the parties have been secured and due diligence required under the constitution of the PBA has been completed by the commissioner," the PBA said in a statement.
Coca-Cola and Sultan 900 Inc. sealed their deal a little over a month after Romero met with PBA commissioner Chito Salud reiterating his desire to join the PBA by next season.
"He's not an applicant merely curious on the process. He's no longer inquiring. He's informing us that he will join," said Salud then.
Salud and PBA board chairman Mamerto Mondragon see no obstacle on the entry of Romero's team.
"He's a sportsman and businessman with good track record. He has a lot of money. If he meets all the requirements, he’s always welcome for me," Mondragon said.
"As a businessman, he's well qualified. As a basketball man, Mikee has been in basketball for quite sometime already with his Harbour Centre team," said Salud.
Romero has had his initial flings with the PBA, first as minor sponsor of Red Bull in its last conferences in the league then as supporter of the Burger King squad.
He was supposed to take over the management of the BK team but the plan didn't push through with his separate business deal with Manny Pangilinan not coming into fruition.
Romero's Harbour Centre team made history in the PBL with its streak of championships before moving over to the Asean Basketball League, ruling its inaugural season.
Meanwhile, Cebuano behemoth Junmar Fajardo finally applied for the PBA draft yesterday. He's expected to be made the first pick overall by Petron Blaze.