PBA  BOARD  HAS  FINAL  SAY  ON  ASI  TULAVA'S  RETURN - EALA

MANILA, June 23, 2005 
(STAR) The PBA board of governors will have the final say on whether Asi Taulava can make a return stint with Talk n Text in the country’s pro league.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala stressed this yesterday in reaction to reports that the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has joined last the Department of Justice (DOJ) in recognizing the right of Taulava to resume playing in the PBA.

The PBA board will convene Monday with Taulava’s case expected to hog the discussion although Eala said they have yet to receive an official copy of the endorsements issued by the BI and the DOJ.

"And even when he (Taulava) presents those, the (PBA) board will still have the final say on whether he will be reinstated,"said Eala.

It has been the league’s position that only an order from the DOJ which will prompt the PBA to reinstate Taulava.

The Talk n Text behemoth was indefinitely suspended by the PBA last Oct. 19 after the DOJ declared the player a "Fil-sham."

Prior to DOJ and BI decisions, Eala said Taulava’s case is "one under continuous evaluation"and constantly open to scrutiny.

"His case is one of precedence and sure to affect the league for a long time. So it must be studied constantly and thoroughly," Eala said.

The BI joined last Wednesday DOJ in recognizing Taulava’s right to resume playing in the league.

In an order dated June 21, Immigration commissioner Alipio Fernandez declared that his bureau has "no objection" and "allow herein" Taulava to play (in the PBA) "in accordance with the endorsement of the Secretary of Justice and the order of the Court of Appeals."

Fernandez’s order concurred with the June 20 endorsement of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez of Taulava’s return to the PBA in recognition of his "right to a means to life."

In his endorsement, Gonzalez apparently gave weight to the "sub-joint letter of chairman Eric Buhain of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB)" which stated that based on the records of GAB the license it issued to Taulava was that of a "Filipino professional basketball player."

Buhain even wrote Gonzalez a letter "to confirm the professional license issued to him (Taulava) by the GAB in order for him to play in all the games in the Philippine Basketball Association or in any other league supervised by the GAB." — Nelson Beltran


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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