Banal as PCBL commissioner

The Link
Rey Joble

Posted on February 29, 2016

Joel Banal has gone full circle in the local basketball scene. He was part of the multi-titled Great Taste Coffee team in the PBA that dominated the league during the mid-1980s.

As a coach, he had won quite a number of championships. He led the Ateneo Blue Eagles to the 2002 UAAP title and ended the reign of the La Salle Green Archers, champions from 1998 to 2001.

His championship in the UAAP served as his ticket meal to become head coach of Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals in 2003 and quickly, Banal led the squad to a championship, the first for the franchise and he eventually joined the elite cast of rookie coaches to immediately win a title.

He last coached the Alaska Aces squad in 2012, becoming the first head mentor of the squad in the post Tim Cone-era. His return to head coaching was brief and he returned as president of the school he established 15 years ago.

After taking time off doing the executive job, Banal has found his way back in the local basketball circuit as he was tapped to become commissioner of the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL), a league headed by chairman and long-time basketball executive Buddy Encarnado.

Banal will be bringing in his wealth of experience in basketball matched with his managerial skills, which is a good fit as a commissioner. He will take over the post vacated by Ato Badolato, a long-time San Beda coach.

In assuming his new role, Banal considered it as more challenging, like getting back into the game.

“But just like when I was playing, when I’m coaching, and heading the Domuschola International School for 15 years, I will find a way to win,” Banal told BusinessWorld in an interview.

In meeting the coaches and the technical officials for the staging of the import-laced conference of the PCBL, Banal wants to ingrain trust to everyone, trying to implement some things workable for everyone and making sure everybody’s on the same page.

For the coming import-laced conference where Nigerian, Cameroonian and other foreign players who saw action in different collegiate leagues will be the main attraction, Banal has come up with a three-round classification for all the six teams.

The six teams will be headed by Founders Cup champion Jumbo Plastic, Sta. Lucia Realty, Foton, Supremo Lex, Euro-Med and new team Mighty.

The top two teams at the end of the three-round classification will take a bye and an automatic seat to the semis, leaving the four other squads to battle it out in the quarterfinal round.

Rey Joble has been a sportswriter for 17 years, and has been covering the PBA games for more than a decade. He is a member of the PBA Press Corps and Philippine Sportswriters Association, the oldest journalism group in the country.