SEOUL, KOREA - The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) board has approved a plan to honor the '40 greatest players' of the pro league's first 40 years this season.
The elite list will be unveiled in grand ceremonies in April celebrating the first four decades of Asia's first professional cage league, PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial confirmed on Tuesday.
However, Marcial said the plan, reported by Spin.ph in March, has just been approved by the board and other details have yet to be laid down, from the members of the selection committee to the criteria for the selection.
"For sure, we will form a selection committee and everything else will follow from there," said Marcial at the end of Day One of the annual planning session of the league's board of governors.
The tribute will come 15 years after the league honored its '25 greatest players' and is seen as a chance for players who stood out over the last two decades to join the esteemed list.
Among those players who should be in the candidates list are two-time MVP Danny Ildefonso, Mark Caguioa, James Yap, Danny Seigle, Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, Dondon Hontiveros, and Willie Miller.
In 2000, a selection committee made up of former league commissioners decided to make all former MVPs shoo-ins to the '25 Greatest' list before deliberating on the rest of the choices.
It will have to be decided if selection for the next honors list will follow the same qualifying rule for former MVPs, or if the members of the '25 Greatest' club will be automatically seeded into the new list.
Member of the '25 Greatest Players' list are Johnny Abarrientos, Ato Agustin, Bogs Adornado, Francis Arnaiz, Ricky Brown, Allan Caidic, Hector Calma, Philip Cezar, Atoy Co, Jerry Codinera, Kenneth Duremdes, Bernie Fabiosa, Ramon Fernandez, Danny Florencio, Abet Guidaben, Robert Jaworski, Freddie Hubalde, Jojo Lastimosa, Lim Eng Beng, Samboy Lim, Ronnie Magsanoc, Vergel Meneses, Manny Paner, Alvin Patrimonio, and Benjie Paras.
If the next selection committee follows the same criteria, players like Caguioa, Yap, Taulava, lldefonso, Menk, and Miller will be seeded into the list along with fellow former MVPs Jayjay Helterbrand, Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, and Arwind Santos.
Also in the frame are now-retired players who were deemed "too young" to be considered for spots in the 25 Greatest Players list, among them Olsen Racela, Jeffrey Cariaso, Marlou Aquino, and Dennis Espino.