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Dealing with a problem

Special committee to deal with ‘sabbaticals’, come up with new rules; pocket tourney eyed for Gilas
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 04:03 AM March 10, 2021

Greg Slaughter—INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon

A special committee will be built by the Philippine Basketball Association in the coming days to tackle rules that it can lay down to deal with players holding teams hostage.

This development is an offshoot of the Ray Parks Jr. “sabbatical” that the TNT swingman announced just a week ago, leaving the Tropang Giga out in the cold despite management offering the swignman a hefty two-year extension and, in effect, building its future around him.

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Lawyers will be consulted and tapped for the committee as the Parks case was brought up by league chair Ricky Vargas during the board of governors’ annual meeting that took place in the last two days starting Monday.

“We are looking at consulting lawyers and even former commissioners who could ultimately make up the committee,” commissioner Willie Marcial said on Tuesday after the session was concluded.

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Also during the session, the board drew up the league’s path for its 46th Season, which it hopes to open on April 9.

Marcial said that a request to hold the season in a semibubble will be discussed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases as early as Tuesday night, and that the league is bracing for a later start to the season if its proposal is not accepted by the government agency right away.

Also discussed and approved was the Gilas Pilipinas program not borrowing PBA players for the Fiba and Olympic Qualifying events, with both tournaments to conflict with the schedule of the pro season.

Instead, the Gilas Five will be allowed to participate in as few as four and as many as six games during the Philippine Cup before it leaves for those qualifying tournaments.

Another option is lending as many as two PBA teams to play in a pocket tournament that could also have the participation of the Japan national squad.

Parks caused a stir and hit a sore spot with TNT management after declaring that he will go on a sabbatical for the coming season. The former UAAP MVP claims that he needs to attend to family matters in the United States, a reason that Vargas and team owner Manny Pangilinan himself said was not true considering that Parks has been in the country all this time “and enjoying himself.”

Vargas admitted to being offended by Parks, who turned his cheek on a super maximum two-year extension which Vargas said his club “offered in good faith.”

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The board took it upon itself to come up with a course of action for similar acts that could happen again, with the Parks case the second one in as many seasons after Greg Slaughter also did the same after the 2019 season when he learned that Barangay Ginebra was renewing his contract to later on trade him to NorthPort.

Slaughter spent most of last year in the United States as the Gin Kings won the Philippine Cup in the bubble without him. He returned a couple of months ago and mended fences with San Miguel Corp. management.

Ginebra later on traded him to the Batang Pier for Christian Standhardinger as Slaughter made a promise on social media that his best basketball is still ahead of him. INQ

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