Nov 09, 2021

PBA eases restrictions on Fil-foreigners' eligibility

THE PBA Board decided to relax previous requirements for Fil-foreign players becoming eligible for the rookie draft.

The league will no longer require both the Bureau of Immigration certification and Department of Justice affirmation for foreign-bred players with Filipino blood to be qualified for the draft, and instead will now only need a valid Philippine passport for them to play in the PBA.

Chairman Ricky Vargas said the Board approved to finally amend the requirements for incoming Fil-Am rookies to be attune with the times.

"We will basically look at Fil-foreigners less stringently now. As long as they have Filipino blood and get their passport and they are able to come and play for us, we will look at them with less rules to disqualify them," said Vargas in the online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

The amendment is just one of several policies reviewed by the league's study committee headed by Vice Chairman Bobby Rosales.

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A number of Fil-foreign players in the past who holds Filipino passport, were declared ineligible for the rookie draft for failing to secure their BI and DoJ documents.

In the light of the revision on Fil-Am eligibility, the Board also approved the number of Fil-foreign players in a team be increased from the current five to seven.

"A team now is allowed to at least seven Fil-foreigners," added Vargas, who was joined by Commissioner Willie Marcial in the weekly Forum.

"In that way, we will make the PBA exciting and we will bring the world to the PBA. Parang NBA."

The chairman however assures, the rights and welfare of Filipino players will be equally protected.

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"But at the same time, trying to also balance it so that we will be able to give jobs to our players na nandito. We are looking forward to that in the next draft." (RG)