Monday, December 27, 2010

Direct hiring on D-League draws flak from PBA board governors

Several members of the Philippine Basketball Association board of governors expressed apprehensions over the plan to allow teams to have direct hires for their respective squads in the soon-to-be formed Developmental League.

Joaqui Trillo of Alaska, Raymond Yu, co-team owner of Rain or Shine, and JB Baylon, board governor of Powerade, are not in favor of having existing PBA teams that will field in farm squads in the D-League to have direct hires.

“It will destroy the concept of the annual Rookie Draft," Trillo told GMANews.TV. “I’m in favor of the D-League as it gives players more opportunities, but I’m not in favor of the direct hire." 

For Yu, the D-League will be a way to develop more players and give former PBA players a new lease on life.

“The main purpose of the D-League is to develop players coming from the amateur ranks, and those PBA players barely given a chance to showcase their skills," said Yu.

Baylon believes the D-League will be a good venture for the pro league, but sees a problem in direct hires, especially if not all PBA teams will put up farm squads.

“Putting up a D-League? Yes, I’m in favor of it, but direct hire, maybe not, if not all PBA teams will sponsor a D-League squad," said Baylon.

A member of the board who requested anonymity said implementing a direct hire rule in the D-League will make the annual PBA Rookie Draft less interesting, as it will take away the talented players who are supposed to enter the draft, but will be directly picked by a member of this new league.

“Basically speaking, kapag may direct hire na ganyan, kanya-kanyang kuhaan na yan ng Fil-Ams, just like what happened before," said the board member. “Ang mahirap dyan, kanya-kanyang gulangan na yan and it’s not good for the league." 

PBA commissioner Atty. Chito Salud said that there’s no decision yet as far as direct hiring in the D-League is concerned.

“We will discuss that in January next year. There’s no decision yet on direct hiring," said Salud in a text message.

Direct hiring a thing of the past

During the influx of Fil-foreign players, teams were allowed to hire players directly. Among those players were Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, Al Segova, Rob Parker, Devon Harp, Mick Pennisi, Jon Ordonio and Tony dela Cruz. 

Unfortunately, several players were found to be Fil-Shams or ineligible players who failed to prove their Filipino citizenship. 

Direct hiring from their respective farm squads also happened even before the annual Rookie Draft was instituted in 1985.

Jay P. Mercado, a basketball historian from MYPBA, a rich source of basketball information, said it became a usual practice for PBA teams to hire directly from their farm squads during the 70s and 80s.

“Etok Lobo and Anthony Dasalla were picked by U-Tex from their farm team Solid Mills. Toyota also got Elmer Legaspi, Ed Merced, Paul Herrera and Pablo Javier from its farm team Frigidaire. Frigidaire’s Amang Ladores went to Filmanbank, which was also owned by the Silverios of Toyota," said Mercado, also a human resources manager of a popular fast-food company.

“Tanduay had a team in MICAA, YCO, where it got Jimmy Manansala and Jaime Taguines. Crispa also had its team in MICAA and tapped Jimmy Javier, Fil Gulfin and Ed Espinosa, while Royal Tru-Orange, now known as the San Miguel Beermen, acquired Visayan players like Biboy Ravanes, Leo Paguntalan, Salvador Ramas, Paul Velasco and Rudy Lalota." - KY, Rey Joble, GMANews.TV

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