THE PBA board of governors holds its first meeting for the new season this week to decide on the novel proposal to have Asian players as reinforcements and the possible handicapping system during the two import-laden conferences.
The league board under chairman Patrick Gregorio will convene on Thursday at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City, with the two sensitive matter topping the agenda for the day.
It was Gregorio himself who first broached the idea of tapping players from neighboring Asian countries as reinforcements for the season-ending Governors Cup which he proposed before the board during its annual planning session in Seoul, South Korea last month.
The Asian players, with a maximum height of 6-foot-5, are apart from the regular imports featured in the season’s final conference.
The proposal, which Gregorio referred to as ‘Asian integration’ had the backing of no less than league commissioner Chito Salud.
“Kasama sa regular board meeting `yung topic ng Asian imports, kung ano ang height, saka kung lulusot ba `yung idea na `yun,” Marcial told Spin.ph on Monday.
“So dun pa lang aaprubahan kung gusto ng board yung idea or hindi, kasi hindi kino-consider na import ang Asian players, pero dun sa board meeting natin malalaman.”
Iran’s Mehdi Kamrani, Sam Daghles of Jordan, and Korean Cho Sung Min are among the possible Asian stars qualified to play in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league if ever the proposal is formally approved.
Also to be scrutinized is the proposed handicapping for imports during the Commissioner’s and Governors Cup, respectively.
Initial suggestion made during the board meeting in Korea had the top eight teams at the end of the eliminations of the season-opening Philippine Cup being allowed to tap the services of imports with height limit of 6-foot-9, while the last four teams will be permitted to get imports of unlimited height.
For the Governors Cup, the handicapping system is set to be based on the combined record of teams in both the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup.
Under the proposal, the top eight teams are set to have imports with a 6-foot-5 limit, while the last four teams will be given the leeway to have imports of unlimited height.
Marcial, who also serves as special assistant to the commissioner, however, said the board is again going to tackle the handicapping issue on whether it will be applied in either the Commissioner’s or Governors Cup.
“Di pa natin masabi kung sa second or third conference yung handicapping, saka kung eight teams ba ang may handicap or six teams,” he added.
The handicapping system among imports is expected to benefit the two expansion teams in Blackwater and Kia Motors.
Currently, the Elite are down in the cellar with a 0-2 (win-loss) slate along with Barako Bull and defending champion Purefoods.
The Sorentos on the other hand, are in the middle of the standings with an even 1-1 card.