PHILIPPINE Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Salud has set an April deadline to decide on the applications of three top companies for expansion franchises in the league.
The decision was reached on Thursday following the regular meeting of the league board under chairman Ramon Segismundo where the league tackled the letter of intents from Columbian Autocar Corp., and Ever Bilena Inc. and Metro Pacific Investment Corp, the mother company of NLEX.
Of the three, Salud said only NLEX has yet to submit its company profile, having tendered its letter of intent to the PBA office just last Wednesday.
Columbian Autocar Corp. is the local distributor of Kia while Ever Bilena is the parent company of the Blackwater Sports team of Dioceldo Sy in the D-League.
Once everything have been received by his office, Salud said he’ll start conducting due diligence on the financial capacity of these three corporations and determine whether or not the applicants are capable of "sustaining, operating, and maintaining a competitive team in the PBA in the long range."
“And after only I am done with that due diligence of looking at their financial, liquidity, and growth rate, then that’s the only time I will make a formal recommendation to the board for its decision,” said Salud shortly after the meeting at the PBA office that lasted almost three hours.
He added, “The approval of this application would be April of this year. And until such time, we will have no further statement because we do not want to preempt our board.”
As expansion team, Salud said accepted applicants will be required to pay a new standard franchise fee of P100 million.
The approval of the three new franchise holders will need at least three-fourth votes from the existing membership of the league which is made up of 10 teams.
“That means eight votes to get in,” Salud stressed.
The recommendation of Salud will be presented to the board in time for its regular meeting in April after which, it will be determined whether a new expansion team or teams for that matter are going to be accepted in time for the league’s 40th season in October of this year.