11 April 2014

3 Expansion Teams Should Be Allowed to "Hire Directly"

NLEX Direct Hires
During the influx of Fil-foreign players, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams were allowed to hire players directly using their own resources and doing their own research. Among those players were Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, Al Segova, Rob Parker, Devon Harp, Mick Pennisi, Jon Ordonio and Tony dela Cruz.

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

Direct hiring has been employed by the PBA even during the early 1970’s to promote competitiveness and parity among teams. It was even instituted even before the annual Rookie Draft, which was only adopted 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."
It is therefore, a wonder of wonders, why newly approved expansion clubs NLEX, Kia, and Blackwater were denied this opportunity by the PBA. Why are they being penalized and forced into a very disadvantage position after they decides to join the league next season?

The flimsy excuse given by Commissioner Chito Salud is that only NLEX and Blackwater have a competitive team in the PBA D-League:
"As much as we wanted to give direct hires we cannot. Only two of the three have existing teams."
So what? This is the most illogical reasoning I've heard for awhile with no miniscule sense whatsoever.

A simple use of our coconut shell dictates that the League can allow NLEX and Blackwater to hire directly players from their D-League teams. Kia can easily be granted concession by a mere Board resolution and allowed to hire from the other teams in the D-League aside from NLEX and Blackwater. This is really simple and easily doable.

Forcing the three companies to build through the regular rookie draft, the expansion draft, and the free agent pool will only make them as helpless as the UP Maroons in the UAAP. Besides, who in their serious mind think that the number 11, 12, and 13 picks in the 2014 Draft are even worth a second glance?

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