PBA must to adapt to changing times, says ex-chief Noli Eala
MANILA, Philippines—Former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala believes it is high time for the league he once governed over to adapt to the ever-changing basketball landscape.
Eala, who presided over the PBA from 2003 to 2007, said the PBA could revise the Uniformed Players’ Contract as a reaction to Kiefer Ravena’s move to sign with Shiga Lakestars in the Japanese B.League despite having a live contract with NLEX.
The league’s sixth commissioner alluded that there are certainly a lot of gray areas when it comes to player contracts but the most plausible solution is getting into a middle ground and that is revising the UPC.
“The PBA is a pro league. Players with live contracts cannot simply enter into another agreement to play elsewhere arbitrarily. The UPC is a keystone of stability of the PBA. Must be respected. The middle ground is to revise the UPC to reflect the changing times. PBA must adapt,” wrote Eala on Twitter Thursday.
The decision by Kieffer to sign with a Japan B-League team is bold and ambitious. Excited for him. I am all for athletes looking for opportunities abroad. Sports is global and universal. Having said that, however, I still believe live contracts have to be respected.
— Noli Eala (@NoliEala) June 3, 2021
Ravena’s decision to join the Lakestars sent a chilling precedent to the PBA prompting league officials to publicly declare that what the Road Warriors guard did is not allowed.
Despite that, Ravena publicly said that he had the blessing from NLEX and even thanked the PBA and its Board of Governors for their support.
Eala understands the position of the PBA that contracts should be honored and a player can’t just switch teams, let alone leagues, that easily.
Ravena has an existing three-year contract that he signed in September of 2020 making him a Road Warrior until 2023.
“The decision by Kiefer to sign with a Japanese B.League team is bold and ambitious. Excited for him. I am all for athletes looking for opportunities abroad. Sports is global and universal. Having said that, however, I still believe live contracts have to be respected,” said Eala.
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