MANILA, Philippines -- The PBA on Tuesday confirmed that they have eased the eligibility requirements on Filipino-foreign players who are looking to play in the league.
Speaking at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas said they will be "less stringent" on Fil-foreign players.
"As long as they have Filipino blood, and they can get their passports and they are able to come and play for us, we will look at them with less rules to disqualify them," Vargas said.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial further clarified the new rule, explaining: "Basta may pasaporte ka ng Pilipinas, pwede ka nang ma-draft. 'Yun ang sa 'min. 'Yun lang ang tinitingnan namin."
"'Yun ang inaprubahan ng Board – passport ng Pilipinas ang kailagnan mo, puwede ka nang maglaro sa PBA," he added.
Previous rules required Fil-foreign players to acquire documents from the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Immigration proving their Philippine citizenship in order to be eligible for the PBA Draft.
Because of these requirements, several Fil-Ams were unable to join the last Rookie Draft in March, including point guard Jason Brickman.
The Fil-foreign players must still be younger than 30 years old when they join the Draft.
According to Marcial, this new rule has already gotten the interest of Filipino-American players, especially with the PBA Rookie Draft tentatively scheduled for March 2022.
"Malamang madaming magpapa-draft, lalo 'yung mga Fil-Ams kasi inopen up po natin. May tumawag nga sa 'kin Amerikano eh, from US," he revealed. "Tinatanong na nga 'yung proseso. So pinakausap natin sa technical group natin para doon sa mga Fil-Ams na papasok sa atin."
Meanwhile, PBA teams are now allowed up to seven Fil-foreign players in their roster, an increase from the previous rule of five.
"A team is allowed Fil-foreigners. So in that way, we will make the PBA exciting. We'll bring the world to the PBA," said Vargas. "At the same time, [we are] trying to also balance it, so that we're able to give also jobs to our players na nandito."
"So, we're looking forward to that in the next draft. So we understand, ang dami daw Fil-foreigners who are interested in coming over and play for the PBA," he added.