PBA  ACTS  TO  CURB  ENTRY  OF  FIL-FOREIGNERS

MANILA, June 22, 2004
 
(STAR)
By Nelson Beltran  -  The number of Fil-foreign cagers in the Philippine Basketball Association will be severely regulated in the immediate future after the Commissioner’s Office has drawn measures to address the issue before the league board of governors.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala has sent to the 10 teams copies of a six-point, four-page proposal which the board is to tackle in its meeting on June 28.

A priority in the list is a bid to limit the participation of Fil-foreign cagers through strict guidelines for their entry into the league.

Under the commissioner’s proposal, Fil-foreigners would be limited to five per team by 2007-2008 season. Each team would be allowed to draft only one Fil-foreign player per year.

In the current roster, Alaska Milk, Talk n Text and Ginebra are the teams with at least five Fil-foreigners in their lineup.

To be eligible for the draft, Fil-foreign players would still be required to obtain Bureau of Immigration and Department of Justice confirmation of their Filipino citizenship. An added requirement is for the Fil-foreigners to first play at least one conference in the PBL or at least three tournaments in smaller commercial leagues.

Eala has also proposed the full implementation of "unrestricted free agency" to all PBA players.

Patterned after that of the NBA’s, the rule would allow players to gain unrestricted free agent status upon the expiration of two consecutive contracts with their mother teams.

In the current scheme, players are called free agents upon expiration of their contracts although they have to deal with the "right of first refusal" bestowed on their mother teams.

The rule doesn’t give the players the opportunity to test the free agent market or join the teams they really want to play for. A good case in point is Jun Limpot who have labored under the weight of the free agency rule in over a decade in the league.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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