AS ITS entry as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) newest member was formally announced, Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. management vowed to form a competitive squad that will give the league’s powerhouses a run for their money.

Converge is officially taking over from Alaska after the PBA board of governors unanimously approved on an 11-0 vote the sale entered into by its co-founder and CEO Dennis Anthony H. Uy and Aces owner Fred Uytengsu.

“Converge will be a strong and active member of the PBA. With full management support and continuous recalibration, we’ll be competing at a high level and we’ll be bringing topnotch basketball to Filipino fans,” said Converge’s designated governor, former commissioner Chito Salud, in a presscon with commissioner Willie Marcial and Alaska governor Dicky Bachmann.

“Our brand of basketball will be reflective of the core values of hard work, discipline, creativity, grit and excellence,” added Mr. Salud.

Converge purchased Alaska lock, stock and barrel and has the option to retain the old Aces squad and coaching staff.

“We have barely three months to prepare for the next season in June and I’ll be working closely with Mr. Dicky Bachmann on this. Together, we’ll assess the performance of the players and coaches and we’ll make a decision soon,” said Mr. Salud. “We believe this team has great potential and we just need to recalibrate and move forward.”

Converge executives are grateful to PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan for allowing the company to come in despite essentially being a competitor.

“Mr. Uy wants to highlight the sporting spirit Mr. Pangilinan showed in accepting the entry of Converge. In the mind of Mr. Uy, Mr. Pangilinan is a true ambassador of the sport and does the PBA proud with this sporting gesture,” said Mr. Salud.

The amount of the purchase was not disclosed but is estimated to be at least P100 million in addition to franchise transfer and other league fees.

Mr. Bachmann presented a framed signed Alaska t-shirt each to Converge and the pro league during the presser. “The proceeds of this sale could have stayed with the PBA… We want to thank the PBA for allowing Mr. Uytengsu and Alaska Milk Corp. to actually receive all the proceeds from this sale,” he said. — Olmin Leyba