As Fil-foreign players miss out on draft, PBA set to revisit requirements

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2021 04:46 PM

As Fil-foreign players miss out on draft, PBA set to revisit requirements 1
Jason Brickman is one of the Fil-Am players who failed to submit the citizenship requirements for the PBA Rookie Draft. File photo

MANILA, Philippines -- The PBA on Tuesday said it will review its draft requirements -- among other policies -- after several Filipino-foreign players failed to submit the necessary documents for the upcoming draft.

Potential first-rounders Jason Brickman and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser were among those who did not make the cut for the March 14 ceremony, as they couldn't provide the PBA with a certificate of recognition from the Bureau of Immigration as well as an affirmation from the Department of Justice.

Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Brandon's brother, expressed his disappointment on social media, saying that an "outdated rule" kept Brandon from joining the upcoming draft.

"Brandon will have a future in this league, but I hope this can be an example of why we should amend some of these regulations," said the TerraFirma swingman. "I believe the days of 'Fil-Shams' are behind us."

The league was rocked by the "Fil-Sham" controversy in the early 2000s, leading to the imposition of strict requirements for Filipino-foreign players in order to prove their citizenship.

"As of now, ang sinusunod pa rin natin, 'yung sinimulan dati," PBA commissioner Willie Marcial acknowledged on Tuesday during a press briefing, after the league's annual planning session.

These rules are now up for review, however. It is not only Ganuelas-Rosser who had called for amending the requirements. Agent Charlie Dy, who represents Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Brickman, and another Fil-Am Jeremiah Gray, had called for change back in January when it was clear that Fil-foreign players would have trouble acquiring the necessary documents.

"Pinag-uusapan 'yan," Marcial assured. "Pag-aaralan namin lahat ng mga polisiya, kung anong pwede, para sa ikakabuti ng liga, para sa lahat."

Aside from the three players, all of whom previously suited up for Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League, other Fil-Ams who failed to submit their documents include big man Taylor Statham and forward Tyrus Hill.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas vowed to look at "several policies," including the league's rules on players taking a leave of absence. This comes as his team, TNT Tropang GIGA, is rocked by the sabbatical of ace swingman Ray Parks Jr.

"We'll inform our commissioner to take a look at these various cases," said Vargas. "So one is -- what is a leave of absence? (That's) No. 1. No. 2, I have a contract and I want to play somewhere else and my contract expired. Situations like, I'm fresh from college, I don't want to be drafted and I just want to play for the national team."

"These are all the issues facing us squarely as the PBA has gotten more and more universal," he added. "Since there are a lot of good talents here, the world is looking at them also, especially in Asia. So all these will have to be reviewed and addressed."

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