PLAYERS drafted in the PBA will still be allowed to suit up in the ongoing PBA D-League Aspirants Cup until they are signed by their respective mother ballclubs.
Tournament director Eric Castro said there’s no rule prohibiting drafted players from seeing action in the D-League with at least two weeks to go before the 39th season of Asia’s maiden pro league gets underway.
“Wala naman tayong rules na nagbabawal doon,” said Castro.
Instead of its usual August date, the Annual Draft was deferred to last Sunday to give way to the country’s hosting of the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
Several of the rookie players drafted noticeably saw action for their respective D-League teams Monday and Tuesday, among them includes Blackwater Sports’ Justin Chua (Globalport) and Robby Celiz (Talk ‘N Text), Café France’s Eloy Poligrates (Talk ‘N Text), Ping Exciminiano (Alaska), Jens Knuttel (Barangay Ginebra), and Mike Parala (Meralco), and Cagayan Valley’s Mark Bringas (Meralco).
Chua even played a key role in the Elite’s 87-85 victory over Boracay Rum as he scored a team-high 15 points, including a crucial three-pointer late in the game.
Castro said he is assuming D-League players will only be prevented from suiting up with their respective teams after they have signed a contract since being drafted alone doesn’t guarantee them of slots with their mother ballclubs in the pro league.
“Hangga’t hindi pa sila nakakapirma sa PBA, puwede pa sila maglaro sa D-League,” Castro said.