Vargas to bring up ‘sabbatical’ issue of players with PBA board
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Basketball Association sees no problem with regard to players taking a sabbatical for as long as they do so for the right—and truthful—reasons.
So expect the league’s all-powerful board of governors to curb out this practice starting this season, with chair Ricky Vargas now “having cause” to do so after his heir apparent franchise player, Ray Parks Jr., announced on social media on Saturday that he was opting out of the coming season and left the Tropang Giga hanging out to dry.
“I wasn’t pissed about his reason for taking a sabbatical,” Vargas told the Inquirer over the phone Sunday morning. “If his reason was his family in the (United) States, then that’s fine. But people have seen him all over the country where he is enjoying himself.
“There has to be integrity with what he says,” Vargas added as he bared that Parks made them believe that he was in the US.
The board will convene for the next two days starting Monday for its annual planning session, and because of what had transpired, Vargas said that he will be taking this issue up with the body so that teams are not held hostage anymore.
“I now have cause to bring this up to the board (level). What bothers me most is that (the teams) have taken care of our players even during these extraordinary times,” he went on, sounding obviously hurt how his entire organization was taken for a ride by the former UAAP MVP out of National University.
“I just think that it is just about right for our players, Parks included, to show appreciation to their teams by coming out to play.”
Vargas said that it is not only the TNT squad which Parks owes something to, but the fans who have made the PBA what it is today, also have to be rewarded, in a way.
“Look, the fans have continued to support the league through thick and thin,” Vargas said. “Our players owe it all to them to play and play hard—and not hold out using reasons that are not real.”
Vargas confirmed that TNT had offered Parks a “maximum na maximum” two-year extension, and that it floored him to learn that Parks has opted to take a leave.
“Another thing that hurt us is that he has been negotiating with us all this time and yet he will announce his sabbatical,” Vargas said. “We were negotiating with him in good faith, and treated him well (in his first season with the squad) and this is how he rewards us?”
That didn’t pan out well for the 7-foot center, who went back to the Ginebra camp after the Gin Kings won the Philippine Cup in the bubble last year. He was traded to NorthPort just last week.
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