Free agency going well so far, but PBA can revisit rules

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2022 05:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The PBA's first foray into true free agency is going well so far, according to commissioner Willie Marcial, but they still plan to revisit and review the rules should the league be negatively affected.

"As of now, okay naman," Marcial said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday. "Wala namang problema."

Players from the class of 2014 are the first to become unrestricted free agents, allowing them freedom of movement that PBA cagers didn't previously enjoy.

So far, two players from the 2014 class have exercised their free agency rights. Rodney Brondial turned down an offer from Alaska to sign with San Miguel, while Nard Pinto signed with Barangay Ginebra upon the expiration of his contract with Meralco.

Marcial stressed that free agency is for the players, as the league now gives them the freedom to choose their team after their seventh season in the league.

"Para sa mga players 'to. Dati, sinasabi ng mga fans na papaano makakaalis 'yan eh may rights lagi ang teams. Eto, may free agency na," he said.

However, he pointed out that this can also be a gamble on the players' part.

"Ang disadvantage lang ng players, 'yun nga -- sige, free agent muna ako, hindi muna ako pipirma. Sugal mo 'yun. Gamble mo 'yun, kasi kung walang kumuha sa 'yo, babalik ka doon. Eh kung hindi ka na kunin? So sugal 'yun," he noted.

At the moment, however, it appears that free agency is progressing as the league expects. There were some rumblings over San Miguel's signing of Brondial, but the SMB management stressed that they did not "poach" the big man from Alaska.

On Tuesday, it was reported that another member of the 2014 class exercised his free agency rights as Matt Ganuelas-Rosser declined a contract extension from the TerraFirma Dyip.

"Maganda para sa mga players. Para sa mga players itong free agency na 'to," said Marcial.

But the commissioner did warn that the league can still review and adjust the rules in the future.

"'Pag nakita natin na disadvantage sa liga, or kung parang lugi ang liga, or pangit tingnan, ire-revisit namin. Ire-revisit ng board, ire-revisit namin kung anong maganda para sa liga," he said.

"As of now, wala naman, okay naman. So hindi pa natin, walang dapat ipangamba, as of now."