MANILA - The UAAP is closely coordinating with the PBA to work out issues related to the Rookie Draft, league executive director Rebo Saguisag said on Sunday.
The PBA has already announced that it will extend the deadline of application for the draft until May 7, which will coincide with the UAAP Season 84 Final 4 or Finals.
Traditionally, the UAAP has ruled that student-athletes who apply for the PBA Rookie Draft will no longer be allowed to play in their games.
"We've observed that they lose focus, and parang distraction siya. The commitment to the collegiate teams, nag-iiba," Saguisag explained.
Given that there will only be two to three games left in the season after the PBA's May 7 deadline, however, Saguisag assured that eligible student-athletes can apply for the draft without fear of being prohibited from playing.
This means that seniors from teams in the Final 4 or in the Finals who will still be in action by May 7 can already file their application for the draft, and still compete in the UAAP postseason.
"Kung 'yun na lang din naman, two teams are remaining, and kung one or two games ang natitira, parang the danger sought to be avoided is wala na doon masyado," said Saguisag. "It really serves the best interest of the student-athlete who does not have to wait for another year."
The UAAP will continue to work with PBA leadership, namely Commissioner Willie Marcial and Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro, to work out scheduling issues in future seasons, Saguisag also said.
"We will try to coordinate again with the PBA, to adjust, para hindi kami tamaan. I hope that would be the norm. So mag-uusap talaga kami so that these things will be avoided," he explained. "Commissioner Willie Marcial, Eric Castro and I will continue to discuss para hindi na ganoon ang schedule."
The annual rookie draft is set for May 15.
Local applicants are required to submit a copy of their birth certificate, while Fil-foreign players need to submit a valid passport as well.
The draft is open to players who are 22 years old and above, or 19 years of age with a minimum two years of college education.