PBA readies dispersal draft

Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The PBA will conduct a dispersal draft for two or three expansion teams joining the pro league next season and at least 24 or up to 34 veterans will be in the list of “signables” depending on whether the Board of Governors decides on a protect 12 or 13 guideline.


PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial said the other day the Board has not decided on how many to protect from every roster in the draft. It will be either 12 or 13. At the moment, each team is allowed to play 14 players in a game, excluding an import, with two more lined up in the injured reserve list. Teams with a full cast of 16 are Barako Bull, Globalport, Meralco, San Mig Coffee and Talk ‘N’ Text. Air21, Alaska, Barangay Ginebra and Rain Or Shine are 15-strong each while San Miguel Beer has 14 players.

Players in the injured reserve list are under contract and not considered as free agents. Among those in the injured reserve list at present are Wynne Arboleda and Sean Anthony of Air21, Dorian Peña of Barako Bull, Kelly Nabong and Mark Yee of Globalport, Eddie Laure of Alaska, James Forrester of Ginebra, A. J. Mandani and Paul Artadi of Meralco, J. R. Quinahan of Rain Or Shine, Lester Alvarez and Val Acuna of San Mig Coffee and Eric Salamat and Robby Celiz of Talk ‘N’ Text. A player in the injured reserve list may be activated to replace another player dropped from the 14-man lineup.

Players who are contractually attached to a franchise but are unrestricted free agents because the team is over the 16-man limit include Magi Sison, Roger Yap and Woody Co of Barako Bull, Leo Avenido and RenRen Ritualo of Alaska, Bitoy Omolon of Meralco and Jimbo Aquino and John Ferriols of Talk ‘N’ Text.

If the Board decides on a protect 12 rule, there will be 34 players in the dispersal pool. If the Board decides on a protect 13 rule, there will be 24.

Marcial confirmed that new franchises Columbian Autocar Corp. for Kia Motors and Ever Bilena for Blackwater will participate in the dispersal draft. Representatives of both franchises have already undergone orientation seminars at the PBA office in Libis. Attending for Kia Motors were franchise owner Jose Alvarez’ representative Bobby Rosales, Columbian president Ginia Domingo, team manager Eric Pineda, Joe Ramos and assistant coaches Louie Gonzales and Rob Wainwright. Ever Bilena chairman Dioceldo Sy and Wilbert Loa came for Blackwater. Both groups were hosted by PBA commissioner Chito Salud, Marcial, operations director Rickie Santos, finance director Jimmy Sunglao, business development director Rhose Montreal and accounting manager Odessa Encarnacion.

Columbian and Ever Bilena have deposited down payments of an undisclosed amount for the franchise fee to signify their commitment to play next season, the PBA’s 40th, which starts Oct. 19. A third possible expansion franchise N-Lex has submitted a letter of intent to also join the league but will decide whether or not to enter on or before June 7. N-Lex has dominated the PBA D-League since its inception in 2010-11, capturing six of seven championships with Blackwater sneaking in to win the 2012-13 Foundation Cup.

Aside from the players unprotected for the dispersal draft, the expansion teams may pick up rookie and veteran free agents. There were 76 players undrafted from the pool of applicants the last two years and they’re eligible for hiring. The list of rookie free agents includes J. P. Erram, Justin Sanguyo, Chris Sumalinog, Mike Silungan, Jett Vidal, Joshua Webb and Paul Gonzalgo. The list of veteran free agents includes Yousif Aljamal, Don Allado, Rich Alvarez, Mark Andaya, Jason Ballesteros, Jaypee Belencion, Gilbert Bulawan, Reil Cervantes, Alex Crisano, Marvin Cruz, Bambam Gamalinda, Nino Gelig, Wesley Gonzales, Rudy Lingganay, James Martinez, Kerby Raymundo, L. A. Revilla, Josh Vanlandingham and Shawn Weinstein.

Marcial said after the Governors Cup ends on July 9, the expansion teams will be given three to five days to study the list of available rookie and veteran free agents and those unprotected by the league’s 10 teams. “We expect to hold the dispersal draft in the third or fourth week of July,” he said. “We’ll probably ask the expansion teams to choose a certain number of players, maybe five each, and if there are no duplications, then no problem. If there are duplications, then we’ll do alternate drafting. This will be done in the PBA office.”

The regular draft will be held on Aug. 24 at Robinson’s Manila. The expansion teams will be allotted the last picks of the opening round and the first picks of the second. After two rounds, the expansion teams will be given exclusive rights to choose the remaining players in the draft pool. A lottery will decide the order of selection by the expansion teams.











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