TIGHTER PBA RULES ON IMPORTED CAGERS
Manila, Sept. 1, 1999 - The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), while keeping its doors open to all foreigners with Filipino blood, will require a thorough check on their bloodlines before they are allowed to play.
The PBA also announced that it no longer allows direct hiring of players such as the case with Asi Taulava and several others. All foreign-based players will now pass through the annual rookie draft the same way local players do.
The PBA adopted these policies during its monthly meeting last Monday, during which the PBA Board of Governors approved the recommendation of commissioner Jun Bernardino to continue hiring FilAms and shelve another proposal to temporarily halt the influx of the mixed-blood cagers.
Last year's policy on direct hiring did not sit well with some other teams their entry created a huge imbalance in the salary scale between foreigners and locals.
Players like Taulava, Rob Parker, John Ordonio, Danny Seigle, James Walkvist and Al Segova represent the last batch to be accommodated under the old set up. Starting this year, everyone will enter the league through the regular draft.
Some PBA members reportedly felt that a few Fil-Ams were not properly documented and this has affected the integrity of the PBA in the eyes of some sectors of the public.
"We strongly feel that this problem will be addressed decisively under the new policy," said a PBA source.
In line with this policy, the board agreed with Bernardino's suggestion that all non-local aspirants will have to submit their documents and application forms before Oct. 15 this year to enable the PBA commissioner's office to carefully study their papers.
From there the documents will be submitted to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation for certification which should be released eight days before drafting day. The annual rookie draft will be held next year.
A Fil-foreigner selected from the draft will still have to submit his documents before the Department of Justice for confirmation of citizenship. In effect, any Fil-am draftee who is not granted recognition by the DOJ will not be allowed to play in the PBA.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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