30 July 2014

Batang Pier Should Choose Pringle Or Else

Stanley Pringle
Most of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft 1st picks have signed with the teams that grabbed them with a few exceptions, Vic Pablo in 1993 and Japeth Aguilar in 2009. And the biggest take-home lesson for all rookie draftees who would turn their back on their teams is that they will face stiff penalties.

The PBA has toughened its rules after the Aguilar controversy when he turned his back on Air 21 (then known as Burger King). He was offered a maximum contract and allowed him to play for the national development team, Smart-Gilas, which he prefers, but he still declined. He eventually signed up after got an assurance that he will be traded to Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.

Given this previous ruling in the league, many are now wondering why GlobalPort Batang Pier are rethinking its plans to draft as consensus top pick Stanley Pringle in the coming Rookie Draft. Even if reports are true that is Pringle is "asking for the moon," so what?

The Batang Pier own the top pick overall in the 24 August draft and have made it known they are eyeing Pringle, an athletic Fil-American guard who has drawn comparisons with Talk 'N Text guard Jayson Castro. However, team owned by Mikee Romero, sources said, has been forced to reconsider after agents representing Pringle is asking for a salary that is way above the league maximum for rookies of PhP 150,000 a month.

Despite this setback in negotiation, logic tells us that Batang Pier still holds all the aces. Why get held-up by a player who has yet to play in the league? Is there something here that needs to be scrutinized further? Are all this posturing from both camps a way to make it appear that because of disagreements, a trade is needed when in truth the player is already eying one particular team?

For Batang Pier, they have to choose Pringle. If the player does not want to sign-up, so be it. What do they have to lose anyway? He is the best player in the draft and there is no point in drafting someone else unless the team wants to have a losing streak again or is trying to become the ultimate farm team.

If the league does not do anything to protect Batang Pier from a rookie player who wants to have the right to choose his own team, then the public had no choice but to believe what has not been proven all this time: the league is not fair and only favors multinational companies like San Miguel Beer.

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