PSL trending towards going professional, says commissioner

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 27 2020 01:08 PM

PSL Commissioner Ian Laurel. Handout photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Superliga (PSL) is not quite ready to turn professional at the moment, but league commissioner Ian Laurel said they are trending in that direction.

Founded in 2013, the PSL is considered a "semi-professional" league with corporate sponsors backing different clubs. At the moment, the league has eight franchises.

Speaking on "Sports Page" last Monday night, Laurel said the league remains in "status quo" as far as turning professional is concerned.

"We have been in constant communication with chairman Baham Mitra of GAB (Games and Amusements Board)," he said. "We have presented to him that currently, we are not ready to be a pro sport."

"But the direction is definitely going there," he assured.

Mitra, in an appearance on the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday, said their doors are always open for a conversation with the PSL.

In particular, he hopes that the league can explain why they are not yet ready to turn professional.

"Bakit ba hindi kayo ready? Hindi pa kayo ready magbayad, or mahal ba? Hindi po, that shouldn't be an issue kasi it's adjustable," said Mitra.

The chairman explained that GAB is willing to accede to the requests of up-and-coming leagues for smaller licensing fees, should they need it.

Mitra further noted that as per the terms of a recent joint resolution between GAB and the Philippine Sports Commission, any athlete who is paid and does not play for flag and country qualifies as a professional.

"Paalala lang namin sa inyo na may mga sweldo, may mga premyo," he said. "We will probably write them and send them a copy of the joint resolution." 

"We're just waiting. Kung kailan sa tingin niyo dapat pumasok kami, okay lang kami," he added.

This year, GAB welcomed Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3, the National Basketball League, and the Women's National Basketball League as new professional entities.