WITH its sixth D-League title in the bag, NLEX now turns its focus to its move to the PBA.
NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre said management put off all discussions about their PBA plans to avoid any distraction during their Foundation Cup campaign.
Now he says they are ready to finalize their plans after completng a sweep of Blackwater in the finals and completing a 13-game unbeaten run in the conference on Monday.
They Said It!
“Sa ngayon, wala namang napag-uusapan na aatras kami." NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre
“Tinapos lang namin itong D-League para lang hindi lang ma-distract ’yung team. Siguro enjoy lang namin ito. Tapos, after ngayon or tomorrow, pag-uusapan na namin ’yung sa deadline,” Dulatre told Spin.ph.
“Pahinga lang kami ng konti. After that, babalik kami to sit down with the bosses and finalize our plan,” Dulatre added.
The application of NLEX, which is under the Metro Pacific Investments Group of Manny V. Pangilinan,has already been approved by the PBA board along with those of Blackwater/Ever Bilena and Columbia Autocar Corporation/Kia.
However, the new teams were not allowed to bring in direct hires and the NLEX and Blackwater players who are planning to turn pro will have to go through the rookie draft.
But the main issue for NLEX at this time is the payment of the P100 million fee. Unlike the Road Warriors, Blackwater and Kia have already paid part of the franchise fee to formalize their entry into the PBA.
NLEX missed the first payment deadline, raising fears that it will not push through with its participation. The company, however, was granted an extension and given until Friday to comply.
PBA chairman Ramon Segismundo earlier said NLEX has three options — pay the franchise fee, delay its entry in the pro league, or withdraw.
Dulatre, however, made it clear that management has no plans of withdrawing.
“Sa ngayon, wala namang napag-uusapan na aatras kami,” said Dulatre.