Business decisions are sometimes sad, but we have to respect them

As a basketball fan, I observe in utter amazement how personnel movement is handled around the NBA. Specifically, I speak of head coaches. From my viewpoint, coaches have the worst job in the league. When their team does well, the credit goes to the superstar players, but when the squad underperforms, it’s the coaches who usually get the lion’s share of the blame.

Take Nick Nurse, for example. This guy not only led the Toronto Raptors in 2019 to its solitary championship title in its history, but also won the Coach of the Year award the following year. You would think an overachieving team mentor like him has job security. Wrong. Last April, Nurse was fired by the Raptors after he had failed to guide them past the Chicago Bulls in the play-in tournament.

And he wasn’t alone in wallowing in misery this year. Mike Budenholzer was given his walking papers by the Milwaukee Bucks after managing to coach a top-seed team to a stunning loss to an eighth-seed opponent. This after having won a Coach of the Year award with the Bucks in 2019, and seizing the championship in 2021—not to mention grieving the loss of his brother in a car accident during this year’s playoffs.

At least both Nurse and Budenholzer were able to take home the big trophy. Last year’s Coach of the Year, Phoenix Suns’ Monty Williams, was booted out of his post after losing to the eventual champions Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals.

To say that a basketball coach has a thankless job is putting it mildly. If you think about it, coaches are masochists. With the exception of San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, an NBA coach is expected to outdo himself every year, or else…

Now, I don’t know if this is the right analogy for the boat that The Covenant Car Company Inc. is in at the moment. TCCCI is the Philippine distributor of two automotive brands, Chevrolet and MG, but soon, the firm will have to let go of MG. As you know, MG used to be a British marque but is now owned by SAIC Motor of China. TCCCI took over the brand in July 2018 (and publicly launched it in October), inheriting it from a previous distributor that had had no clue about the car business.

In its first year as steward of the brand, TCCCI impressively sold 5,085 units. So impressed the global MG organization that it gave TCCCI its highly coveted 2019 Five Star Award. In 2020 (the first year of the pandemic), MG sales in our market dipped to 3,432, but rebounded in 2021 with 6,343 units and in 2022 with a record 8,858 units.

Next month, TCCCI’s five-year contract with SAIC is coming to a close. Unfortunately, the partnership—a fruitful and profitable one, if I may add—will not be extended. A big factor in this decision is the relaxation of foreign investment regulations, which now allows foreign car companies to do business here even without a local partner. I had lunch with TCCCI executives last week, and they assured me that it was nothing more than a business decision on the part of SAIC. And they respect it—I suppose like letting go of a condo unit after having rented it for the agreed-upon five-year period.

But let’s be honest here: SAIC was emboldened to take over the MG brand after having seen the fruits of TCCCI’s efforts. I’m tempted to say that maybe a better analogy is the bittersweet parting of ways of Tito, Vic and Joey from the producers of Eat Bulaga! But then, there is no legal mess between SAIC and TCCCI. Just a professional conclusion. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sad, yes. But everyone moves on.

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FILL YOUR TANK: “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14)

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