NO play, no pay.
PBA teams are adopting the policy not only to those players whose contracts have expired, but even to those who have existing deals but refuse to take the risk of going back to practice amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Commissioner Willie Marcial stressed he understands where the players are coming from. But at the same time, he said the players have responsibilities to their teams especially those under contract and continue to receive their salaries despite the stoppage.
“Kung ayaw mong maglaro, kailangang kausapin mo 'yung management,” said Marcial during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum webcast where he was the main guest along with deputy commissioner and league operations head Eric Castro. “Right mo naman yun, pero trabaho mo rin namang gawin 'yun.”
The PBA chief cited as prime example the principle laid down by the San Miguel Corp. group as mentioned by corporate sports director Alfrancis Chua, who also serves as Barangay Ginebra governor.
“No play, no pay, ganun sila. Parang no work, no pay,” said Marcial.
Veteran San Miguel guard Chris Ross was among the first to voice his concern regarding the league’s plan to restart team practices if protocols certified by the PBA Board of Governors are approved by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases).
“Risking personal and family safety so that we can train now for games that won’t start until September? What’s the rush?” said the two-time Defensive Player of the Year as he took to Twitter to air his sentiment.
“No advancement scientifically for the virus. I wanna play ball and get back to work as bad as anyone out there, but at what risk,” added Ross, who nonetheless said he trusts Marcial and the rest of the Board will decide what’s best for everyone.
The commissioner said Ross is within rhis right to decline participation in team training and conditioning once the league is given the go-signal by the IATF.
“Kung ayaw mo nasa iyo yun, karapatan mo yun,” said Marcial, who admitted getting feelers from other players about the same concern.
“Pero yung management na ang kakausap sa iyo kung paano (ang gagawin),” added the PBA chief. “Kung ayaw nilang maglaro, ayaw nilang mag-practice, ok sa akin. Pero kausapin nila yung management. Ang management ng teams ang magde-desisyon sa kanila, hindi ako.”
Marcial added that as per reports by the team governors during their meeting last week, no ballclub has stopped paying players their monthly salaries since the quarantine period was imposed three months ago.
“Sa pagkakaalam namin, walang nagka-cut, walang nagbabawas, walang hindi nagpapa-suweldo. Ang alam ko lahat dire-diretso ang suweldo, hindi lamang mga players, pati na mga coaches, at mga utilities,” he said.
For his part, board chairman Ricky Vargas hopes the situation doesn’t reach that point.
“I hope that does not happen,” he said.
The TnT Katropa governor said so far, no one among the franchise’s players has approached him or anyone from management about not wanting to play amid the pandemic.
“The last time we talked to our players was a week ago, and they said they were all excited to come back,” said Vargas.