A ‘more ready’ Phoenix Petroleum gets PBA nod

Posted on January 22, 2016

BELIEVING that the company is more ready now financially to maintain a team in the league, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. finally got the nod to join the Philippine Basketball Association following the approval of the sale of the Barako Bull franchise to the oil and gas firm.

Head coach Koy Banal and the rest of the Barako Bull Energy have until the end of the season to prove their worth to the new owners from Phoenix, who will take over their PBA franchise. -- PBA Media Bureau
In a unanimous decision during a special board meeting on Wednesday at the PBA offices in Quezon City, Phoenix’s application broke through four years since making known its intention to join.

“The special board meeting was called today [Wednesday] on the request of Barako Bull governor Manny Alvarez on their intent to sell the franchise to Phoenix Petroleum. The board discussed about it and came to a unanimous decision to approve it,” PBA Chairman Robert Non told members of the media following their meeting.

“Actually, if you will remember, four years ago their application was already approved. Their finances were okay but more so now they are financially capable of sustaining a team in the PBA. So the decision was not hard to make,” he added.

A Davao-based company, Phoenix Petroleum in such short a time has established itself as one of the more prominent independent oil companies in the country.

It engages in trading refined petroleum products and lubricants, operation of depots and storage facilities, and allied services.

In joining the PBA, the company said that it sees the league as an effective platform to convey to consumers the kind of company it is and its products.

Phoenix Petroleum’s entry into the league will take effect as soon as the second conference of this season, Mr. Non said, pending the submission of pertinent documents from company officials which the PBA board expects to receive by its regular meeting next week.

As part of the deal, PBA officials said Phoenix will take over the operations to be left by Barako Bull, including absorbing the existing contracts of players.

Phoenix also signified its intention to maintain its team in the PBA Development League, which began yesterday.

Now part of the PBA, Mr. Non said they see Phoenix “contributing” to the overall brand diversity in the league as well as bringing in a fan base of its own.

He also sees the team being competitive as it will practically take over a Barako Bull team which did well in the ongoing Philippine Cup before bowing out in the quarterfinals. -- Michael Angelo S. Murillo