APPARENTLY, the requirements needed to be submitted by Fil-foreign players for draft eligibility are among the issues to be taken up by a special study group the PBA will form to address players’ issues.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said the rule requiring Fil-foreign players to secure a certification from the Burea of Immigration (BI) and recognition by the Department of Justice (DoJ) were already discussed in passing during the two-day planning session held by the board of governors.
Shortly after the PBA draft list was finalized, the eligibility rules came under fire from critics who said these were 'outdated.'
As mentioned by chairman Ricky Vargas, the group will be headed by vice-chairman Bobby Rosales and a few lawyers, who the league will name once officially designated.
“Pinag-usapan 'yun. Pag-aaralan natin lahat ng polisiya, kung ano puwede sa mga players para sa ikabubuti ng liga at ng lahat. Pinag-aaralan namin yan,” said Marcial. “As of now, ang sinusunod pa rin natin yung nasimulan natin dati.”
The citizenship rule has been in place for almost two decades now, or since the'Fil-sham’ issue that rocked the PBA in the early 200s.
The lack of the two important documents from the government disqualified at least seven Fil-foreign players from the March 14 rookie draft that included potential first-round picks Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Gray, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser.
Rosales said the group will need time to study the matter since as he admitted, it involves legal issues.
“So it really requires legal studies so that we’ll be able to address legally the scenario and take a look at the big picture because it will really affect all stakeholders in basketball,” said the Terrafirma board of governor.
Other than the Fil-foreign requirements, the group will also tackle concerns between players and his mother team, specifically sudden leaves of absence by players as in the case of big man Greg Slaughter and Ray Parks Jr, or policies governing a player who is under contract but wants to play somewhere else, as in the case of NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena.
Rules on players with expired contracts looking to play overseas, or those who don’t want to be drafted and prefer to play for the national team or in other leagues outside of the country, will also be either drafted or reviewed.
“We have to grasp it, do research and study, review and look at the different situations,” added Rosales. “Hopefully, we can come up with policies over these issues. So I think we really need time to study these.”
“Other than the pandemic, these are issues that faces us squarely because these are live and real issues that the PBA is faced and challenged to take a look at,” said Vargas.