[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 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 decided to come up with this Q & A section, in the hope of clearing up some matters for our readers. Here's Part I of the series]
Question: How much does the lowest-paid PBA player make?
Answer: According to PBA director of operations Rickie Santos, league rules stipulate that a player under contract with a PBA team should make no less than P50,000 a month. Unlike in the NBA, the pro league doesn't allow 10-day contracts for players, with one month the minimum duration of a contract under the Uniform Player's Contract (UPC) which the PBA requires players to sign.
Present rules also allow teams to sign as much as 14 players on its active roster. Ballclubs can actually sign more players as it requires, mostly as practice players or 'unprotected' reserves. But such deals are between player and ballclub and are not covered by the rules of the UPC.
“Kailangan, ang lahat ng contracts nila (PBA players) nasa P50,000 (minimum) or more. Tapos iyung mga practice players na iba, di na nila (PBA teams) kino-kontrata sa UPC, kundi sa kanila lang, parang kumpanya to player. Kasi di naman nila ina-activate,” Santos told Spin.ph.
As an added information, Santos bared that all teams are required to work under a team salary cap, which should be no lower than P27 million and not higher than P36 million per season. All 12 teams are required to submit the UPC of all their players which count toward its salary cap.
As a point of comparison, the biggest salary a team can give a player is currently pegged at P420,000 a month. That was lower than the former max contract of P500,000 a month which former league superstars like Alvin Patrimonio and Kenneth Duremdes received in the past - but higher than the P350,000 ceiling the league imposed in 2003 for 'economic reasons.'
The PBA made the adjustment to the P420,000 maximum salary in 2011.
“Yung P500,000 per month panahon pa nila Alvin 'yun. Kaya naman in-adjust yung sweldo eh dahil naapektuhan ang economy natin, so nag-adjust ang PBA,” said player agent Marvin Espiritu, who co-manages the EMBM group that handles the career of 20 players from the PBA D-League and the PBA led by San Miguel Beer’s Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Chris Lutz, and Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar.
Unlike during the time of Patrimonio and Co. when there was no limit to the duration of player's contracts (the seven-year deal Duremdes signed with Alaska is one example), present rules limit contract durations to no more than three years.
All PBA teams are also made to adhere to standard bonus schemes, which was adjusted starting in September 2011.
Bonuses for won games are currently pegged at P6,000 for the elimination round and quarterfinals games, P8,000 for semifinals games and P10,000 for finals games.
However, Espiritu explained that should a team owner decide to give an additional bonus for winning a PBA championship, that won’t be questioned anymore by the pro league.
“Yung extra bonus dahil nag-champion, di na kontrolado ng PBA iyan. Corporate bonus na kasi yung ganun,” added Espiritu, son of longtime player agent Danny Espiritu.