Marcial keeps focus on planned July opening as PBA study group finalizes report
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Basketball Association is planning to open its 46th season in the middle of this month, and commissioner Willie Marcial is hopeful that the league’s study group—tasked to revisit the PBA’s contentious policies—is also done by then.
“The study group is finalizing its report for the next Board meeting. We’re now just polishing some things,” Marcial said.
“We are going to let everyone know once we’re done going through policies,” Marcial assured, acknowledging the fact that the league has come under scrutiny after news of star guard Kiefer Ravena’s signing with a Japanese pro club.
The PBA leadership reined in on Ravena’s bid just days after Shiga Lakestars’ announcement, with chairman Ricky Vargas himself saying the playmaker “has to honor his contract with NLEX and with the PBA.”
Just a few weeks later, University of the Philippines standout and former Gilas Pilipinas guard Juan Gomez de Liaño signed with Earth Friends Tokyo Z, a Division 2 team also from the B.League.
Media reports later surfaced, saying several blue-chip PBA prospects are also being courted by other Japanese teams.
Marcial said that the PBA is keeping tabs of such developments, noting the importance of the study group’s report which covers an array of topics such as live contracts, absences, and rookie eligibility.
“Suffice it to say that important issues were addressed. It is important, however, to note that there are things that the PBA can do immediately while other concerns may need the involvement of other institutions with the same urgency which may take time,” said vice chairman Bobby Rosales, who also heads the league’s study group.
“We emphasize that the report should only be the initial step and constant review of the rules is needed as basketball continues to evolve globally without sacrificing the competitiveness of the PBA,” he added.
For now, the league chief said he is simply getting his priorities in order.
“Right now, I’m just focused on getting the season opened,” said Marcial, who is now just waiting for the national government’s pandemic task force invite for a meeting.
The PBA, hoping to hold two conferences this year, is looking to stage its official games at either Ynares Center in Antipolo City or Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
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