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News  


Rudy Salud Tribute


PhilBoxing.com


By following the fundamental principle of ‘public interest first before anything else,’ it is no surprise that the term of the late Rudy Salud as commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association was described as “Four Golden Season.”

Indeed, in Salud’s 1988-1992 stint as the pro-league’s top man, he focused his attention in successfully providing the public with good and wholesome entertainment by way of the sport they love most without sacrificing the interest of individual club members.


His knowing the PBA inside-out having been its legal counsel from the time of its birth in 1975, deputy commissioner until his appointment as commissioner and his background and experience earned by holding top executive positions in both amateur and professional sports organizations as the Games and Amusements Board, Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Racing Commission and the World Boxing Council allowed the eminent lawyer to perform his duties and responsibilities hands-on.

Like his mentor, founding commissioner Leo Prieto and the man he succeeded, Col. Mariano Yenko, Salud ran the day-to-day affair of the league solely without the interference of the PBA board of governors, whose responsibility was mere policy-making body.

Gross gate receipts and attendance showed phenomenal growth from a near disastrous 1987 season. Earnings from paying patrons rose from P11.47 million to P25.3 million in 1991 or a record 121 percent increase wile attendance improved by 60 percent from 407,607 in 1987 to 650,000 in his final year.

Upon his assumption, Salud moved swiftly and decisively attacking the main problems confronting the league as officiating, game-fixing and ticket scalping.

He not only dismissed 50 percent of the referees pool, but, likewise, strengthened integrity in officiating by energizing the PBA Referees Academy, increased the salaries and benefits of officials and raised the standard of eligibility.

He showed determination in getting rid of game-fixing and scalping by engaging the help of the government law enforcing agencies As the Defense Department, Criminal Investigation Service and the Pasig City Police where the league’s home, ULTRA, was located.
It was also Salud who implemented a comprehensive drug policy in the face of the worsening menaces facing the entire country. In one of his last acts, he sought and succeeded the board’s approval for a mandatory AIDS test for all players, old or new.
Salud, likewise, enticed club members and their players to reach out to fans by way of returning to them the benefits both teams and players had been enjoying.

He institutionalized the All-Star Game that drew contributions to the PBA Players Trust Fund for the benefit of the Players’ children’s education and the players themselves.

Salud’s remains, which had been lying in state at the Santa Maria de la Estrada Parish along Katipunan Road in Quezon City (near Ateneo campus) since Monday, will be cremated at the Arlington Funeral Homes following a 9 a.m. mass.
To grateful basketball-crazy public, what his contributions to basketball in particular, and sports, in general, will always remain.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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