[EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the years, Spin.ph has been routinely getting questions from readers about a variety of subjects - from tournament formats to player salaries to schedules to rules clarifications to personal information about players. Some may seem trivial, but obviously not for readers who take the time to toss the questions on our social media pages, begging for an answer. That's the reason we've come up with this Q & A section, in the hope of clearing up some matters for our readers. Here's Part IV of the series]
Question: How much do PBA players make in terms of bonuses?
Answer: Like the salaries of players, bonuses have been standardized by the pro league since 2001, meaning extra remuneration received for won games, championships and individual awards has a limit which cannot be breached without violating the PBA's Uniform Players' Contract (UPC).
If PBA players' salaries are capped at P420,000 a month and the team salary cap is set at P50 million from P47M the previous season, bonuses given by ballclubs to players for won games cannot exceed P6,000 in the eliminations, P8,000 from the quarterfinals, and P10,000 for the finals.
Bonuses given to players after a team reaches a certain stage in the playoffs also have ceilings. Players can only receive bonuses not exceeding one-fourth of his salary when his team reaches the quarterfinals, three-fourths of his salary when a team reaches the semifinals, and a sum equivalent to one-and-a-half months' salary once his team reaches the finals. The only incentive not capped is the championship bonus, with the league giving member ballclubs the liberty to give as much as they want to reward their champion teams.
While the league does not allow statistics-based bonuses in the special contracts attached to a player's UPC, it allows teams to hand out incentives for six yearend individual awards: MVP, a spot in the Mythical Five, Mythical Second Team, and All-Defensive Team, Most Improved Player, and the Best Player of the Conference.
A Best Player of the Conference awardee can receive a bonus of no more than P250,000 while a place in the Mythical Team can lead to a bonus capped at P200,000. An MVP awardee can get a bonus of as much as P500,000, but he can no longer get an extra P200,000 for his place in the Mythical Team.
The only major award that has no accompanying bonuses written on contracts is the Finals MVP, which is handed out not by the league but by the PBA Press Corps.
Interestingly, the cap for bonuses for individual awards has remained the same since 2001, the year the PBA imposed the standardized bonus scheme.
Prior to that, the only rule in place for incentives was that it must not exceed 40 percent of a player's annual salary. That was the time when the rich incentives inserted in the mega-contracts of former PBA stars like Kenneth Duremdes and Danny Ildefonso prompted the league to impose a more detailed cap on bonuses.
However, not a few league watchers prefer the old rules that gave teams more leeway to hand out performance-based bonuses, especially with talk of rampant violation of the league-imposed caps by ballclubs which enter into 'under the table' deals with players, not only on salaries but on bonuses as well.
Raising the salary cap, they believe, can help level the playing field at a time when you routinely see players with maximum contracts still demanding to be traded to certain teams. As outspoken Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao loves to say, 'Bakit, iba ba 'yung maximum (salary) namin sa maximum ng ibang teams?'