28 October 2016

'Special Draft' Rules Was Kept Hidden

Mac Belo
Last 27 October, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Board of Governors has reached an amicable settlement with Gilas Pilipinas on how to treat the national players who will play for next season. The problem is that they don't want anybody, particularly the paying public to know until the Rookie Draft Day on 30 October.

Many thought that the plan was to let the 12 teams pick the Gilas cadets according to their team rankings minus the trades. However, based on the initial information released, the consensus during the marathon meeting was to let the players go to the teams based on 'pre-determined order'.

A lot of factors, including the needs of each team, dictated the 'pre-determined' order of picking, the league said.

"We took into considerations lahat ng process or means na pwedeng i-determine kung paano idi-distribute yung Gilas players," said league chairman Robert Non of San Miguel at the end of the meeting that took almost five hours to wrap up.

"Lahat pinag-aralan. I dont want to cite specifics. Kumbaga sa amin na lang yun," he added.

Since there were no previously approved guidelines on how the special draft will be conducted as well as the order by which the players will be picked, the league can adopted a compromise. It was not confirmed yet, but based on the sequence on how the players were picked (see below), it appears that the league followed the same order as the regular draft with no double picks. The decision was made to ensure that all 12 cadets are provided to all 12 teams, with no exceptions.

A backlash from San Miguel Corporation (SMC) teams was expected if the PBA decided stick to use the team standings as basis for picking the Gilas cadets. An equally damaging turn of events would have occurred if the PBA used the order of the regular draft without giving the Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) group a chance to pick, which the regular draft will do. Hence, to make everyone agree, the new formula was adopted.

The PBA Board is aware that the fans are keeping a close eye on their decision last 27 October. It would have been disastrous for the PBA to face another controversy after the alleged fake documents of Rhose Motreal, the hot-headed decision to suspend Ivan Johnson, possible existence of 'farm teams', among others.

The only redeeming value about the 'special draft' is that Mac Belo, the most talented player among the applicants, and perhaps, the most athletic as well went to the Blackwater Elites.

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