NLEX failed to beat the deadline set by the PBA board to pay the initial payment of the P100 million franchise fee for all three expansion teams.
Team manager Ronald Dulatre however, was quick to declare this doesn’t mean the team is backing out of Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.
Dulatre bared to Spin.ph the team has already sent a letter to the league a few days ago asking for an extension.
“Sumulat lang kami, nagpa-extend for further evaluation lang,” said the soft spoken NLEX official.
“Humingi lang kami ng additional time, kasi kahapon (Wednesday) sana 'yung deadline. Re-evaluation lang, kasi nga yung concession pa rin na 'yun, i-we-weigh in lang namin,” he added.
Dulatre bared league commissione Chito Salud responded to the letter released last Monday allowing NLEX at least until June 7 to cement its application for a PBA franchise through the payment of the (franchise) fee.
“Basta may mga pina-factor in lang kami,” said Dulatre while trying to keep the team’s cards close to his chest.
The NLEX executive however, was quick to ease fears the newly accepted franchise may abandon its bid to put up a PBA team.
“Basta, tuloy kami. Tutuloy kami,” he assured.
The two other expansion teams, Blackwater Sports and Kia Motors, already confirmed to Spin.ph the payment of at least a partial amount of P100-million fee even before the deadline on Wednesday.
It will be recalled that NLEX wrote the league on behalf of the three new ballclubs seeking to be allowed to bring in at least five direct hires so it can form a competitive team.
The board however denied the appeal, limiting the new ballclubs to the last three picks of the first round, from 11th to 13th, of the rookie draft set in August.
A revised 'Protect 12' draft from the original protect 14 had also been approved by the league, with a dispersal draft set to be held in the second week of July.