THE PBA has vowed to take a 'second look' at the concessions given to the recently accepted expansion teams, raising hope that Blackwater, Kia Motors, and NLEX will be given more room to form competitive teams starting in the league's 40th season.
The league welcomed on Thursday three new ballclubs in Blackwater Sports, Columbia Autocar Corp., and Metro Pacific Investments, but gave very little concessions in terms of draft picks, direct-hire recruits or a dispersal draft.
However, Commissioner Chito Salud on Friday said the board of governors have decided to discuss once again in its next board meeting on April 24 with the view of "giving the expansion teams the opportunity to have a competitive lineup."
"The challenge before us .. is how to address the formation of the lineups of the different applicants," said Salud. "While initial concessions had been granted, the board of governors has agreed to take a second look at these preliminary concessions for the purpose of giving the three the opportunity to have a competitive lineup."
Under the parameters set by the board, the existing 10 teams will be given the option to protect 14 players from the expansion draft or protect 12 at the expense of losing their second-round picks in the rookie draft, according to media bureau chief Willie Marcial.
No direct-hire hire privileges were accorded the three new ballclubs, which will also be picking 11th, 12th, and 13th in the rookie draft depending on the result of a lottery.
The new teams will be getting players mostly from an expansion draft to be held in late July, where all veteran free agents and players left unprotected by the 10 existing teams will be placed in a pool.
As for protected players with expired contracts, the expansion teams can only tender them offers after negotiations with their mother ballclubs break down.
The limited concessions have almost immediately come under criticism from fans on social media, raising fear that the three new teams will have a very hard time becoming competitive under the present parameters.
Even league chairman Mon Seguismundo assured fans that the three new teams will be given the opportunity to air their side or make requests for concessions once they receive the formal letter of acceptance from the league.
“We’re going to issue a formal letter of acceptance to all these new teams,” Seguismundo toldSpin.ph on Friday. “We expect them to reply and they are free to write whatever they can write since this is a free country.”