THE good news: the PBA board of governors has softened up on the rule limiting its teams to five Fil-foreign players in their lineups.
The bad news? The contentious rule is unlikely to be lifted.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the Fil-foreign limit was one of the rules revisited by the league's board over the past few months, hinting that a change is on the way.
Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso was among those who have spoken out against the decades-old rule, which was put in place after the 'Fil-sham' controversies on the nineties.
Cariaso feels the rule is already outdated.
“The rule may have made sense maybe 20 years ago, pero ngayon parang iba na, e,” said Cariaso, a US-raised Fil-American who was Rookie of the Year in 1995.
The PBA has placed a similar limit of one Fil-foreign per team in its soon-to-be-launched 3x3 league.
Cariaso will be pleased to know that the board has reviewed the rule and will likely make changes soon, according to Marcial.
"Pinag-usapan na sa board level 'yan," the league commissioner said. "On when the changes will be made, I'll let the board decide on that."
Lifting of ban unlikely
However, a total lifting of the limit on Fil-foreigners is unlikely since the board is still mindful of the exposure given to homegrown players, a league insider said.
"Malamang dagdagan [ang quota ng Fil-foreign players]," a source said.
According to Marcial, the board is also looking at making changes to the stringent screening of Fil-foreign players entering the PBA rookie draft.
The league resisted calls to relax the rules before last year's draft, all but shutting the door on applicants like Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Gray, and Brandon Rosser.
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