[PHOTO AT LEFT - Paul Monozca LAS VEGAS, Nevada]

MANILA, DECEMBER 7, 2009 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Paul Monozca, a Singapore-based Filipino international financier, has become the first non-American named to the American Basketball Association (ABA) board and he’s been tasked to handle the league’s $200-million global expansion.

Monozca, who has carved a niche for himself in global financing in Singapore and in Monaco, will be formally presented to the world during the 2009 ABA Summit at the Las Vegas Country Club here Tuesday.

The 41-year-old Negrense, chairman of Parmon Group – an investment holding company – and the Dr. AB Monozca Foundation, has been named vice chairman of ABA Global and has also been given seat in the ABA US board.

Monozca and ABA chief executive officer Joe Newman present detailed plans in expanding professional basketball worldwide during the ABA summit.

The ABA was a former rival league of the NBA, having Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Moses Malone, George “The Iceman” Gervin, Connie Hawkins, George McGinnis, Dan Issel and David Thompson as among its stars. Some of them will be present in the summit.

The ABA was acquired by the NBA in 1976 but original ABA co-founder Richard Tinkham, an Indianapolis attorney, and Joe Newman acquired the rights from the NBA and re-started the ABA with eight teams in 2001. Today, the ABA is the largest professional sports league in the US with over 50 teams and still growing.

Monozca gained entry into ABA with his group acquiring a majority stake in ABA Global LLC to take the league globally.

“The ABA Global program is timely,” said Monozca, married to the former Marie Mejia of Laguna, a renowned magazine editor in Singapore. They have two kids in Miguel, 14, and Katrina, nine.

“When countries see their very own players and teams play with the benchmark that is American basketball, it gives basketball a whole new meaning. This is global basketball with national pride for each participating country worldwide,” said Monozca.

“One of our immediate goals is to add a Philippine team in Daly City, California next season and one from Korea in the US also. We are checking out various alternatives. We will also be putting some international players on current ABA teams next season,” Monozca added.

Monozca said they have had agreements with cage officials in the Philippines, China, Australia and other countries. He said they would divulge finer details during the ABA summit.

He bared, though, that he, as ABA Global vice chairman, will handle all commercial interests of the ABA worldwide expansion encompassing media, brand and merchandising as well as player and league management and global events.

A La Salle-Bacolod alum who’s a corporate finance board passer in Singapore, Monozca said he joined the ABA with the hope of becoming an inspiration to Filipino people.

“We’re now living in a global world. Hopefully, this opportunity of mine shows to the world the capabilities of the Filipinos globally,” said Monozca.

“Filipinos are a quiet race. The Filipinos have always been followers. This ABA job of mine is a different story. This deal showcases that we can lead,” Monozca added. “Of course, making it a success long term is a different thing. Execution is needed but at least the foundation is already there.”

Monozca, as Parmon Group chairman, is known for organizing major sports events in golf, basketball and Formula One racing in Asia.

He’s a recipient of the Sporting Singapore Inspirational Award in 2006, the highest sporting award given by Singapore’s Sports Minister and the Singapore Sports Council for his charitable contributions and ideas to Singapore sports.

His ABM Foundation runs the Gatorade Goodwill Games, the largest grassroots basketball league in Singapore and is known as a patron of Philippine teams visiting Singapore.

The foundation runs Asia’s biggest celebrity golf event and Formula One simulators together with its basketball league as fund-raisers helping over thousands in the Philippines.

Monozca organized the first PBA game played in Singapore in 2008. He’s largely responsible in bringing Jason Castro and Al Vergara to play for the Singapore Slingers.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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