KENNETH Duremdes made it clear the MPBL won't stand in the way of players wanting to play in other leagues such as the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.
Duremdes said the MPBL rule limiting the number of ex-professional players per team has been in place ever since the MPBL was formed and was not implemented to discourage players from playing in other leagues.
A memo released by Duremdes in March warned MPBL players that they risk losing their amateur status if they see action in the VisMin Cup.
The MPBL has resisted the lure of turning pro. Its teams can only sign a maximum of seven ex-pros.
“First of all, we want to be clear about the issue. Ang unang-una dito, hindi namin sila binabawalan na maglaro in any league. Ang sa amin lang, from the start, ang memo [na nilabas] nung March was [just] to clarify everything," said Duremdes during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
"From the beginning, ‘yung liga natin, sinasabi na natin, kapag naglaro kayo sa isang pro league, that was before pa, pagbalik mo sa MPBL, you will be considered an ex-pro," he added.
In the March memo, the league reminded teams that players who will suit up in the VisMin Cup, which is professional in status, will be classified as ex-pros.
Duremdes cited the case of Mikee Reyes, who is considered an ex-pro by the MPBL after playing briefly for the Kaohsiung Truth in the Asean Basketball League.
“Naglaro siya sa ABL noon pa. Parang one game lang ata. Paglaro niya sa MPBL, kinonsider namin siya as ex-pro,” said Duremdes.
Duremdes said the memo was also released for the benefit of team owners and players who were asking about the league’s stand on the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.
‘Yung memo natin last March na linabas, doon lang ‘yun sa mga nagtatanong na mga team owners at players kung ano ang stand ng league dito sa VisMin. Remember, hindi naman players ang may kasalanan diyan. Gusto lang naman nila maglaro. Pero ang kaso, ang paglalaruan nila is a pro league [in] status. Hindi naman natin sila pinipigilan dahil hanapbuhay yan,” said Duremdes.
Duremdes said the players who see action in the VisMin Cup are very much welcome to play in the MPBL in the future, saying he believes there are enough spots available for professional players in the MPBL.
“Pagbalik naman nila sa MPBL, puwede silang maglaro. Imagine we have 32 teams na. Pito ang inaallow nating ex-pros kada team. Ilan ang naglaro doon? Wala pa sigurong 30. Kasyang-kasya po ‘yan sa 32 teams natin," he said.
Duremdes said the league only bars players from seeing action in another league while the MPBL season is ongoing, with the exception of the PBA D-League.