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    PBA seeks closer cooperation with B.League on player transfers

    Sep 17, 2022
    PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas, B.League chief Shinji Shimada and other officials of the two leagues look to strengthen ties.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    THE Philippine Basketball Association and the Japan B. League will continue to find ways to keep its friendship and mutual understanding following another round of talks that ended on Friday in Tokyo.

    The 47-year-old league, led by Board chairman Ricky Vargas and commissioner Willie Marcial, presented a six-point discussion to their Japanese counterparts headed by chairman Shinji Shimada when the two parties met at the B.League office near Koishikawa Korakuen Garden.

    See PBA says 'no such policy' to stop trade of No. 1 pick Rosser

    The gist of the paper presented by the PBA revolved around respecting players’ contract with teams and the commitment of players to suit up for the national team.

    “We are here to reach out for mutual respect and improve relations for betterment of both leagues,” Vargas said in a statement.

    PBA, B.League

    “The keyword is cooperation,” the chairman added. “Recent events whereby our players accepted offers to play in Japan have hurt not only our league, but our national team training development as well.”


    The meeting was the second one for both parties after initially sitting down together during the East Asia Super League (EASL) drawing of lots last June.

    For the last two years, PBA players found themselves taking their act to the B League such as Kiefer Ravena and Ray Parks, and recently Matthew Wright, Greg Slaughter, and Roosevelt Adams.

    Ravena even stirred up the hornet’s nest after accepting the offer of Shiga Lakes while he was still under contract with NLEX.

    Other college players meanwhile, also opted to play in Japan, the Korean Basketball League (KBL), and the T League and P League+ in Chinese Taipei that includes Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena, Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, Jordan Heading, Justin Baltazar, Rhenz Abando, SJ Belangel, Justin Gutang, RJ Abarrientos, among others.

    “If we continue this way of engaging Philippine players without prior clearance from our league, it may sadly blemish our friendship,” Vargas stressed.


      Vargas however said the PBA understands players deciding to go to Japan or other overseas leagues since basketball is a free market now.

      “But a little courtesy lang naman. Mag-usap ng maayos. Respect each other,” said the TNT governor. “Sabi ko nga sa kanila (Japanese), I saw a large display hanging in your office that has the word ‘Respect,’ yun lang naman ang kailangan ng bawat isa sa atin.

      “So we have to tell them what it is, as it is. We sort of framed what we wanted to say and we delivered the message very clearly.”

      Shimada meanwhile, thanked the PBA Board for personally airing its concern, although he maintained the B League totally follows international rules.

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      “However, I understand the situation and your concern,” said the B League chairman, who is formerly the head of the Chiba Jets franchise.

      Shimada admitted that since B League began its Asian Players Quota 2 two years ago, many Filipino players have come to Japan, as well as other countries such as Australia and Europe.

      The two leagues mutually agreed to meet again and continue the discussion on the matter as Shimada and his team are going to visit the Philippines just before the year ends.

      “As commissioner (Willie) Marcial suggested, we keep the conversation going. We plan to visit Manila on Dec. 21 have a discussion then, too,” said Shimada.

      “We look forward to continue talking so we can reach a working agreement that enhance our relationship,” Vargas said for his part.

      “As good neighbors, the path of cooperation is always best way to settle our differences. With due respect.”

      Aside from Marcial and Vargas, the PBA contingent was also composed of vice chairman Bobby Rosales, treasurer Atty. Raymond Zorilla, governors Alfrancis Chua, Erick Arejola, Atty. Chito Salud, Atty Bill Pamintuan, Siliman Sy, Robert Non, Rod Franco, and Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy.

      Also part of the group are PBA legal counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza, deputy commissioner Eric Castro, finance officer Odessa Encarnacio, and social media head Angela ‘Mich’ Flores.

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      PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas, B.League chief Shinji Shimada and other officials of the two leagues look to strengthen ties.
      PHOTO: PBA Images
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