A former PBA MVP and one of the most outspoken sportsmen in the country urged the PBA to revisit draft eligiblility rules governing Fil-foreign players.
Eric Menk stressed it’s about time the league evaluates the rules requiring Fil-foreigners to submit documents from the Bureau of Immigration and Department of Justice as conditions to be considered eligible to join the rookie draft.
“Re-examining rules to adapt to the times is something that needs to be lifted. They haven’t looked at that for over 20 years,” said the retired power forward as he gives his thoughts on the issue on Saturday in a guest appearance in the Power&Play program of former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala.
“If you want the PBA to flourish, if you want it to be consistent, you want it to have the best talent available for the fans, you want to have the best product to make it most attractive for the fans, how do you do that? It’s by adapting. And I’m hoping the PBA does that.”
The 2005 MVP entered the league in 1999, at around the same time an influx of Fil-foreign players perked up the league.
It was not until a year or two later that the PBA began adopting strict measures on Fil-foreign bred prospects following the expose of several ‘Fil-sham’ players.
Unfortunately, that same rule has prevented rookie applicants whose claim to Filipino lineage in undisputable from being eligible for the draft.
Among those who failed to submit the necessary requirements from both the DOJ and BI for the last draft pool were Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Gray, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, brother of Terrafirma guard Matt Roser.
In light of this, Menk, 46, is among the vocal ones admonishing Asia’s pioneering pro league to take another look at the controversial rule.
The case of the Rosser brothers is a point Menk raised, with Brandon having been born in the US and Matt here in the country under the same parents.
“It’s very inconsistent and very confusing,” said Menk a four-time PBA champion, three-time Finals MVP and Best Player of the Conference, and 10-time All-Star. “I think they should examine it because you see that have brothers that have the same parents but born in different places, so that one is eligible and the other isn’t.
“So that’s confusing enough. And this will continue happening in the future because there’s a new generation of players coming.”
Brickman, Gray, and Ganuelas Rosser though, have been allowed to play in the inaugural PBA 3x3 tournament since Fil-foreign players are only allowed to present a Filipino passport in order to be eligible.
Gray hooked up with TnT, Brickman with Meralco, and Ganuelas Rosser with Phoenix.
The PBA has since created a study group headed by board vice chairman Bobby Rosales to take a look on the draft eligibility issue and other pertaining matters.