PBA commissioner Chito Salud has assured that steps are being taken to ensure parity in the PBA D-League amid concerns that the developmental league's allowance cap is being violated.
Salud admitted that a few teams have raised their concerns about the parity of the league during a meeting last month ahead of the Aspirants Cup, which is set to open on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
While the league continues to grow with 11 teams in the next tournament, there are fears the lack of balance may hurt the league in the long run after just one team, the NLEX Road Warriors, ruled the league's first three tournaments.
“That was extensively discussed,” Salud told Spin.ph. “We emphasized to all the teams to stick to the allowances cap that we mandated and that anybody caught will be having sanctions.”
Salud said teams are allowed to give out allowances ranging from P15,000 to P30,000 to players and so far, no one has been caught violating the cap.
“Any kind of breach of the allowance cap will be detrimental to the league. There would be teams that will be stronger which will not be good for the league," he said.
“I reminded the teams to strongly police their ranks. What we have is your contracts and we will rely on those contracts in good faith unless we get information that these contracts are being violated,” Salud said.
Salud also said that the installation of a drafting system is not yet feasible for the D-League since it still doesn’t have permanent members.
“We are still on a revolving door policy meaning we don’t have permanent membership. That is why we still won’t implement a recruitment and drafting system. That system will only work after a resolution by all teams that all teams will be members for three to five years,” Salud said.
The PBA commissioner, however, said that putting up a drafting system is being considered to improve parity in the league although they are not in a hurry to install such.
“We will be working on it within the season and see how we can refine it and if it is doable for next season. But then again, the precondition is that there will be permanent membership. Since we are still in our initial stages of developing the league, we are not yet that eager to put that system in place," he said.
“Because if we do, we anticipate that perhaps only 6 to 8 teams will remain as permanent which would probably defeat the purpose of having the PBA D-League which is to propagate development,” Salud said.
Salud, however, expressed elation that the vision of putting up the D-League is being realized as it enters the third season especially after seeing several players from the developmental league now in the pros.
“I think it’s very successful in terms of developing and strengthening the skills of young players in the age bracket of 17-26. It also fulfills the mandate of the PBA to open new areas for competition and this is certainly a new area. And it successfully prepares players for professional careers in basketball,” Salud said.