PBA makes changes as Bay Area Dragons return for Commissioner’s Cup
MANILA, Philippines—Questions were raised when the Hong Kong-based Bay Area Dragons were confirmed to return to the PBA for the upcoming Commisioners’ Cup.
Head coaches Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine and Luigi Trillo of Meralco, in particular, were curious as to how the league would be able to ensure a level playing field with the Dragons in tow.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial addressed the issues on Tuesday during the PSA Forum at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
“Me and coach Yeng (talked) and [Bay Area] must also have the same number of import as the other teams. If they will change their [import] then it should also be in the same way PBA teams change their imports,” said Marcial in Filipino.
“Their import should also meet the 6’9” height limit. Their local players should also follow the same rules as our locals. Their locals should be born in China, that’s what we’re aiming for.”
In Bay Area’s first foray in the PBA as a guest team last season, the Dragons were allowed to field in a couple of reinforcements in Myles Powell and Andrew Nicholson.
As for its locals, Bay Area has players like Filipino-American Sedrick Barefield classified under “Asian Heritage” category which the Dragons don’t consider as imports.
Trillo had said a few weeks ago that having “Asian Heritage” players is a big advantage for Bay Area.
“If they are able to sign guys like Barefield then it takes away guys from us and I think they need to put some things in place,” said Trillo.
Marcial said the Dragons will only be allowed to field in two “Asian Heritage” players.
Bay Area has yet to submit its final lineup for the Commissioner’s Cup, which tips off on October 15 at Araneta Coliseum.
The Dragons emerged as the No. 1 seed in the 2023 Commissioner’s Cup and finished runners-up after losing to the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in seven games.