The San Miguel Corporation announced Thursday that it has "assigned Mr. Noli Eala, consultant for basketball operations, to help out in the company's infrastructure businesses," but assured fans that "the operations of its basketball teams will continue to run smoothly."
In a press release, SMC said that they believed "Eala's managerial expertise and experience with various companies he handled in recent years will be very valuable in his new assignment in infrastructure, one of the high-growth areas for the company."
Eala was previously executive director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, before becoming involved in the sports operations of San Miguel Corporation, which includes overseeing three PBA squads, the Petron Blaze Boosters, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the San Mig Coffee Mixers, as well as an ABL team, the San Miguel Beermen.
The statement did not disclose if the corporation planned to hire or reassign someone to take on Eala's prior role, except to say that basketball-wise, things would "continue to run smoothly." It also did not say whether the move of Eala would be permanent or temporary.
Furthermore, the release also noted that it has accepted the request of Ginebra head coach Alfrancis Chua for a leave of absence, during the upcoming Governors' Cup in late August.
The San Miguel PBA teams recently underwent a severe reshuffling in terms of their coaching staffs, with former Petron head coach Olsen Racela becoming an assistant with San Mig Coffee. He was then replaced with former assistant Gee Abanilla, who will be paired with a foreign consultant, Todd Purves, formerly of the ABL's Indonesia Warriors.
SMC's Ginebra squad recently made the Finals of the PBA's Commissioner's Cup, but were swept by the Alaska Aces. The San Miguel Beermen did win the most recent season of the ABL in dominant fashion, but the company's last PBA championship came a season ago, when the then-BMEG Llamados won the 2012 edition of the Commissioner's Cup. - AMD, GMA News