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Ex-colleagues rally behind new PSC chief

Long-time colleagues rallied behind Richard Bachmann following his appointment as chairperson of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Former Philippine Basketball Association commissioners Sonny Barrios and Chito Salud as well as Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio formally threw their all-out support, saying that Bachmann’s rich experience as sports executive equipped him for the bigger role of running the affairs of the country’s funding arm for sports.

Barrios, now the executive director of SBP, said Bachmann’s professionalism and work ethic made him a perfect choice to succeed Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala as PSC chief.

After all, Bachmann – the son of late basketball great Kurt Bachmann – holds a degree in business management from De La Salle University and served as general manager and governor of Alaska in the Philippine Basketball Association for over a decade.

Prior to his appointment as chief of the country’s top sports agenda, Bachmann was serving as local organizing committee head of operations of the FIBA World Cup 2023, basketball commissioner of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and chairperson of the PBA 3×3 tournament.

“He has played a key role as LOC head of operations for the FIBA World Cup 2023 and is therefore very much knowledgeable on what are the needs of the Philippines as the lead host among three countries in co-hosting the event,” said Barrios, who served as PBA commissioner from 2008 to 2010.

“Mr. Bachmann has shown how capable he is as a professional executive and the country and Philippine sports will surely benefit under him as PSC chairman.”

Salud, who succeeded Barrios as PBA commissioner in 2010, agrees, saying that he greatly admired Bachmann’s managerial skills when they launched Converge as the newest team in the country’s professional league last year.

Salud added that Bachmann’s deep understanding of sports and ability to relay to athletes, coaches and fellow executives make him an asset to the PSC.

“Dickie Bachmann’s appointment to and acceptance of the PSC chairmanship augurs well for sports in general and the sport of basketball in particular,” Salud said.

“His deep understanding of sports – borne out of his being both an athlete himself and a sports leader and manager – will surely infuse his leadership with compassion, pragmatic know-how and clear vision from which our athletes and Philippine sports will benefit in the years to come.”

“That Dickie has roots in the local basketball community, which is eagerly awaiting our historic hosting of the FIBA World Cup, is a huge bonus. It is further proof of how deep basketball runs in the veins of Filipinos.”

Bachmann’s rise to power in the PSC came as a surprise.

Barely three days before New Year, Malacanang announced that Bachmann was chosen by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to replace Eala as PSC chief.

Bachmann is set to have his oath-taking on Wednesday before formally reporting to the PSC in which he is set to meet his fellow PSC board members in commissioners Olivia “Bong” Coo, Walter Torres and Edward Hayco before sitting down with department heads one by one to determine the current status of the agency.

He is also scheduled to meet UAAP, SBP and PBA executives to start his transition of role and responsibilities.

Panlilio, who sits next to Bachmann in the PBA board of governors when he was with Alaska, added that Bachmann’s vision and managerial skills will be his biggest weapon when he formally leads the PSC.

“I had the privilege to work with Dickie for many years on the PBA board,” Panlilio, also the Philippine Olympic Committee first vice president, said.

“He was instrumental in partnering with the SBP and in launching the PBA 3×3. He is a great administrator, hard working, fair, and understands sports being an athlete himself. I believe he will do well as PSC chairman.”

“He, in fact, is still one of the four administrators of the FIBA LOC, the most important one, competition, which handles the actual games, venues, etc. I will sit down with him so he can transition into his new role.”

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