Saturday, February 11, 2012

‘Powerade Tigers still under Coke management, Baylon still governor’

source: Reynaldo Belen | InterAKTV

The Powerade Tigers are still under management of Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. communications director Cat Avelino made the pronouncement Saturday amid questions by the PBA over the status of the franchise.

On Friday, PBA commissioner Chito Salud wrote a letter asking about the team’s status to William Schultz, chairman of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., which owns the Powerade franchise.

Concerns were raised by the league amid reports that the team had been sold to the San Miguel Corporation. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported last week that a sale is a done deal, a story denied by CCBPI. But InterAKTV on Thursday obtained and posted a document showing that the franchise was offered for sale to SMC last November.

More questions were raised by PBA officials over the ownership status of Powerade after the team agreed to trade one of its best players, Marcio Lassiter, to Petron Blaze in exchange for Noy Baclao and Rey Guevarra. Petron is the flagship franchise of SMC.

PBA rules prohibit teams owned by the same company from trading directly.

‘Baylon still governor’

In his letter to Schultz, Salud also asked about the status of Powerade team executive JB Baylon in the team’s management. Baylon represents the Tigers on the PBA Board of Governors, where he serves as vice-chairman.

Salud asked whether Baylon “remains the governor/representative of Coca-Cola or whether he has been replaced.”

The league scheduled a board meeting on Friday to discuss issues surrounding Powerade, but Baylon did not show up. The Tigers’ alternate governor Manny Dizon was also absent.

The meeting was rescheduled as the board were unable to reach quorum, with representatives from Barako Bull, B-MEG, Petron, and Barangay Ginebra also not showing up.

In a text message to InterAKTV, Baylon refused to comment about his status with the team.

“I think it’s better for the PBA to ask [Coke management],” Baylon wrote.

But Avelino said that Baylon still remains part of the team’s management.

“JB is still our board governor,” she said in a telephone interview.

Baylon is Director for Public Affairs and Communications of the Coca-Cola Export Corporation, the Philippine branch office of the Coca-Cola Company. It is a separate entity from CCBPI.