In a display of unwavering support and confidence, the PBA Board of Governors has granted Commissioner Willie Marcial a three-year contract extension, solidifying his position at the helm of the Philippine basketball league until the 2026-27 season.
The contract extension announcement came on the heels of the annual planning session at the Warwick Hotel, where Chairman Ricky Vargas conveyed the board’s overwhelming support for Marcial.
This extension builds upon the previous three-year deal granted to Marcial in 2020, a testament to the trust placed in him as the league’s 10th commissioner.
Marcial, who has led the PBA since January 2018, expressed his gratitude for the continued support from the board. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout his tenure, Marcial’s leadership has guided the league through uncertain times, fostering its growth and success.
Under Marcial’s stewardship, the PBA achieved unprecedented success in its 47th season.
The league recorded net profits of around “more or less P200 million,” marking a significant milestone for the organization. This achievement was further highlighted by the PBA’s venture into international play, including participation in the East Asia Super League with representatives from San Miguel Beer and TNT.
The league’s foray into global competition is a testament to its standing in the basketball community.
Additionally, the PBA experienced a surge in television viewership during the Governors’ Cup Finals, recapturing its position as the country’s premier sports show. TV5 President Guido Zaballero and Cignal’s VP for Content, Sienna Olaso, shared reports highlighting the league’s average viewership of 4.2 million fans, representing a significant television audience share.
However, with the upcoming FIBA World Cup co-hosted by the Philippines, the league is expected to face financial challenges in the coming season. Chairman Vargas acknowledged the sacrifice the PBA would make, estimating a potential 30% reduction in profits.
“We expect to lose around 30 percent of that in the coming season,” chairman Ricky Vargas said after the first round of the board’s marathon meeting. “It’s our sacrifice for the national team for the coming Fiba World Cup.”
The league’s decision to prioritize the national team and support the FIBA World Cup demonstrates its global commitment to representing the country.
As Commissioner Marcial embarks on this new chapter, he joins the ranks of esteemed leaders such as Jun Bernardino and the legendary founding commissioner, Leo Prieto, as one of the longest-tenured bosses in the history of the PBA. With his contract extension, Marcial aims to continue guiding the league toward further success, ensuring the PBA remains at the forefront of Philippine basketball.
As the basketball-loving Filipinos eagerly await the start of the 48th season in October, the extension of Commissioner Marcial’s contract provides stability and a clear vision for the future of the PBA.
With the Board of Governors’ support, the league is poised to thrive and further elevate basketball in the Philippines.