Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) announced the new rules involving rookies and free agents citing to “keep up with the changes happening around the world.”

/ 26 July 2021

For the past months, the league has been continuously dealing with contract and draft-related issues and Commissioner Willie Marcial, along with deputy commissioner Eric Castro and legal counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza determined that the new rules will take effect on Friday. 

PBA teams are given a period of 30-days to negotiate with their players for extension after the expiration of the contracts also, the mother team can opt to match the offer made by opposing PBA teams within five days, and the player will have to sit out in PBA for five years if he refuses the matched offer.

Nevertheless, the player can still opt to consider the offer provided that the same must be acted within two years from refusal.

While in terms of live contracts cannot be terminated unless due to medical reasons to prevent another case of Kiefer Ravena wherein a team that allows pre-termination will be fined P20 million.

“We reviewed all possible scenarios with respect to the migration of other players to other leagues. We had to affirm — or rather reaffirm — that the sanctity of the contract should be respected,” said Mendoza.

And for drafting eligibility and opting out, the league bared that the players must be 22 years old and at least 19 years of age can join with a minimum of two years in college. Players who are eligible but decide to sit out can still join and be drafted through a special lottery within three years from the date of eligibility.

“The reason why we lowered the age limit is to give opportunities for some collegiate players to turn pro. We have adopted the NBA’s hardship rule, so they can still pursue education via online,” Castro explained.

On the other hand, if the drafted player and mother league were not able to compromise on the terms and conditions of the contract, the player will have to sit out for five years.

And lastly, 30 years of age has been set as the age limit for the Filipino foreigners opting to apply for the draft.

Things are evolving and we need to adjust. I’m sure if I am not the commissioner anymore, things will continue to change. We will adapt to what is appropriate at the moment because we see the need to do so,” Marcial said.