PBA visit to Japan: A complete waste of time

I would really like to be a fly in the wall when officials of Japan’s B. League discuss the visit of the PBA delegation.

Did they say, “That was crazy, no?”

The PBA officials said they hope B. League teams will respect their league when it comes to getting players from the Philippines, saying hiring them directly without getting the PBA’s blessing will be an affront to the friendship between the two leagues.

WASTE OF TIME. Japan’s B. League officials telling the PBA that it follows international rules on player transfers was the Japanese way of diplomatically telling PBA officials, “Are you nuts?”

And of course, the PBA used, as an excuse, player availability for Gilas as an excuse.

The B. League officials, according to reports of the meeting, said they follow international regulations on player transfers. Which is the diplomatic way of saying, “You traveled all the way for that?”

As to the excuse on player availability for Gilas, Japan’s reply belies that. As a football-mad nation, it knows it must follow international windows, which Fiba has adapted from football. (After also adapting the World Cup format and changing its schedule to avoid the Fifa world Cup.)

I mean, has any Japan-based player been barred from playing for the country because of club duties?

During its rivalry with the MBA, the PBA marketed itself as the Bayan ng Superstars, now it is seeing its superstars or potential superstars go to Japan or other Asian countries. Instead of preventing them, it should embrace the move.

It should not consider it as player piracy because the league doesn’t own these players, just as the same way our hospitals and schools don’t own our nurses and teachers. Instead of trying hard to hold on to a broken business model, the PBA should adapt with the time.

The SBP, too, should get on with the program. While checking the Fiba regulations for international player movement, I saw in Fiba’s statutes that clubs in a national federation should join the national championships of their federation.  Like I said, Fiba parrots Fifa’s actions.

What national championships are we talking about in the case of the Philippines?


If we could have one, involving clubs from the various regional leagues, where they could even eventually meet the PBA teams in a step-ladder competition, that would be a blast, right? But that would mean the PBA teams sacrificing their schedule for, ahem, national duties.

And based on what we’ve learned from their Japan visit, that is something the PBA requires from its players but wouldn’t require from its clubs.

Unless of course, SBP think the PBA is the national championship and that lies the crux of the problem, for the NSA to think that the PBA is Philippine basketball and that protecting its players means protecting Philippine basketball.

As the member of Fiba in the country, it should have been the SBP, not the PBA, who should be talking with their counterparts in Japan, and not the B. League, when it comes to player transfers.

That’s why, like I said, I want to be a fly in the wall when B. League officials discuss the PBA visit.

“That was a complete waste of our time, no?”

Mike T. Limpag
Mike T. Limpag

Mike T. Limpag has covered the Cebu sports scene for over 20 years, starting as an 18-year-old cub reporter for the Freeman in 1997 before moving to SunStar Cebu in 2001.

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