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    Record number of rookie hopefuls bolsters need for PBA expansion, says Salud

    Oct 24, 2013
    Commissioner Chito Salud says the huge surplus of players is proof that the pro league can accommodate one or two expansion teams to add to its current 10-team roster. Jerome Ascano

    THE record number of rookie applicants who applied for the coming PBA rookie draft has all the more bolstered commissioner Chito Salud's belief on the need to expand the number of teams in Asia’s pioneering pro league in two to five years' time.

    Salud said he’s no longer surprised with the record 85 rookie hopefuls who made themselves available for the November 3 event at the Robinsons Place in Ermita, considering the growing number of top-notch players in this basketball-crazy country.

    “Well, I'm not surprised because marami talagang magagaling na players dito sa Pilipinas,” Salud said.

    With the huge surplus of players, Salud thinks it’s high time the league board revisits his proposal to accept at least one or two new franchises to add to its current 10-team roster.

    “So probably in the PBA we have 16 to 17 good players in a ball club but of course, only 14 can be put in the lineup,” he said.

    “So an additional team in the next two years or maybe two more teams in the next five years, that would be perfect for the PBA.”

    Red Bull was the last team to have bought and granted an original franchise by the league in 2000.

    Just by looking at the list of the rookie applicants, Salud said he sees a bright future for the league, hinting the draft may be even go as deep as the third round.

    “Pwede talagang umabot ng second round yan even third round,” he said. “Matatangkad, malalaki, matitipuno 'yung mga players ng Pilipinas ngayon, so yes, I think we have an abundance of excellent players.”

    Among the prominent names turning pro next season include big men Greg Slaughter, former NCAA MVP Ian Sangalang, and Raymund Almazan, gunners Jeric Teng and UAAP MVP Terrence Romeo, RR Garcia, Jeric Fortuna, LA Revilla, Carlo Lastimosa, Justine Chua, Alex Nuyles, Nico Salva, and JR Cawaling.

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    Commissioner Chito Salud says the huge surplus of players is proof that the pro league can accommodate one or two expansion teams to add to its current 10-team roster. Jerome Ascano
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