DOES the PBA need to change its ruling on Fil-foreigners applying for the Draft?
For sports agents Charlie Dy and Marvin Espiritu, it’s high time the league revisits a long-standing rule that was implemented during the infamous “Fil-Sham” days. “Ang sabi ko nga dapat yata siya (PBA legal counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza) ang mag-recommend to the Board being a lawyer kasi marami ng changes and the rule has been like 22 years, since 1998, ‘di ba?” Dy said on Radyo5 92.3 News FM’s Power and Play program hosted by former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala.
“Ang daming local players, I think they want better competition also that’s why a lot of local players are trying to play somewhere else,” he added.
The ruling that requires Fil-foreigners to get a Department of Justice affirmation and Bureau of Immigration certification put to risk the eligibility of Fil-Am standouts Jason Brickman, Brandon Ganuelas Rosser, and Jeremiah Gray in the Draft set on March 14.
Rookie hopefuls have until Jan. 27 to submit their application and requirements.
Espiritu echoed the same sentiments.
“Those are blue-chips. Iyong tatlong sinabi ni Charlie (Dy), those are first-rounders, Brickman, Gray and Rosser. I think they are legitimate Filipinos. Hindi lang sila ang may ganoong kaso dahil ang Bureau of Immigration requirement, may mga players talaga na for some reason, they cannot get that because of eligibility and technicality issues,” Espiritu said.
“I think the PBA needs to revisit the ruling in terms of documentation kasi tulad nga ng sinabi ni Charlie, this ruling has been there for quite some time already. Inilagay iyan, alam natin, for the protection na walang makakapasok na Fil-Shams. But iba na kasi ang panahon ngayon, hindi ka na basta-basta makakakuha ng passport na ganoon kadali.”
Espiritu maintained times have indeed changed.
“Lahat iyan sa consulate, iniisa-isa na iyan. So, if ever na makakuha ka ng report of birth, tinanggap nila then it means na Filipino ka kasi one of your parents is a natural-born Filipino,” Espiritu said.
“Ang pinag-uusapan dito ay kung may Filipino blood ka, ang nationality mo ay Pinoy. Hindi ka naman naturalized na citizen.”
Terrafirma owns the top pick overall anew, followed by NorthPort, Blackwater, NLEX, and Rain or Shine in the top five.
The Elite’s No. 3 selection will go to the Road Warriors as part of the complicated three-team trade that sent JP Erram from NLEX to TNT last February 2020.