THOUGHTS | PBA WELCOMES FIL-AMS... AS IN REALLY WELCOME THEM WITH FEWER RESTRICTIONS.
So the PBA has this major thing they are about to introduce in the next season.
This is to combat the potential Pinoy B-Leaguers and to entice other players to somewhat globalize Pinoy basketball.
Time to bring back Chris Clay… BECAUSE THE PBA HAS FINALLY RELAXED THEIR CITIZENSHIP RULES!
Aside from increased Fil-Am participation from five to seven, the PBA will no longer require BI certification and DOJ affirmation. This means that Jason Brickman and Taylor Statham can finally play in the PBA with a chance of having Jordan Clarkson and Jalen Green should they decide to finish their careers in the country of their heritage.
This is a good step.
However, I remember how the Fil-Am influx ruined the PBA in the late 90s and early 2000s. Fake Pinoys could flood the scene and import-sized egos could mess up the livelihood of our local stars.
But maybe the mood has changed now. Back then, we would adamantly veto naturalized players leading the charge during international tiffs. Nowadays, we are looking at ways to get NBA vets to play for our country. Yes, I know Angelo Kouame is the key naturalized player of the current Gilas team but what are the chances of getting like an Evan Mobley or a Scottie Barnes helping the team if possible.
I mean… if possible.
Basically, the PBA wants to have an aura of international gameplay in the league. This is nice and all but I would have preferred having five Fil-Ams and two Asian imports just like what the China, Japan, and Korea leagues are doing.
The PBA is losing prospects… and we should do the same to these leagues. Japan and Korea are looking at our players because of our high basketball IQ. Sure, we are small, but even a casual viewer acts as a coach whenever his or her favorite team is playing. If they are taking our youth, then we should be taking their veterans. I know Sanchir Tungalag and Mahmoud Abdeen rode the benches of Ginebra and San Miguel, respectively but getting the Asian imports could give us a sneak peek at our Asian counterparts.
We learned how to play Iran because of our battles against them. Japan is probably ready to battle us because we’re probably going to have the likes of Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Kobe Paras, and Dwight Ramos to represent us in competitions.
Let’s forget how the superteams are going to be more super. At least with this current setup, the PBA will have more elite players, and those who can’t hang it… at least would have the other leagues as fallbacks. I know the pandemic caused a lot of players to undergo panic mode (which is why the record number of draftees in the 2021 PBA Draft), but the PBA can’t have farm teams.
It’s still a difficult task to entice the followers though. The commercial league has to contend on a lot of things to re-gain their patrons. Releasing historical content online is one. Better coverage of games (at least more accessible) is another. Multiple franchise owners to combat the superteams is another with promotion and demotion notices to lessen the notion of farm teams.
But hey, at least this is the right step.