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Basketball

Filbasket says it is an amateur league, players receive ‘tokens’


Filbasket went on the defensive moments after the Games and Amusements Board questioned its status, stressing that it is an amateur league.

Besides following game rules set by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) — like having 10-minute quarters, shorter three-point line, among others, league founder Jai Reyes bared that players from all 11 of their member teams do not receive a monthly salary.

Athletes are classified as professionals if he or she is “paid a sum of money or equivalent compensation as salary or prize money for participating, either as an individual or member of a team, in a game, bout, tournament, or contest of professional sport: provided that it shall not include those who are paid ‘token amounts’ or such amounts that do not exceed the reasonable expenses incurred by the athlete in attending the competition or match, such as uniforms, sports equipment, transportation, board and lodging, but not pre-competition training expenses.

“Just like the UAAP, NCAA, PBA D-League, and other small tournaments held in provinces, Filbasket and its teams are merely providing token amounts or allowances because this already means a lot to the people in the basketball industry given our almost two-year absence from basketball,” said Reyes, the former team manager of defunct MPBL club Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards.

“Our tournament only runs for a maximum of twenty-six days.”

2021-Chooks-to-Go-VisMin-Super-Cup-Visayas-Leg-Dumaguete-vs-Talisay-patrick-cabahug Filbasket says it is an amateur league, players receive 'tokens' Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Two of Filbasket’s teams came from professional league Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, namely Medical Depot (MJAS-Zenith Talisay) and AICC Manila (Basilan Peace Riders). All of the players and officials in both teams still hold their pro licenses.

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2021-Chooks-VisMin-Southern-Finals-G3-Mandaue-vs-Basilan-basilan-champion-1 Filbasket says it is an amateur league, players receive 'tokens' Basketball News  - philippine sports news

The rest of the players and teams are coming from regional league Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

Reyes also explained that the entry fees they charged to the teams and sponsorships they received were only used to “defray the costs of holding the tournament.

Filbasket is planning to hold its tournament at the Subic Bay Gymnasium while the teams will be billeted in two nearby hotels.

“As organizers, Filbasket is forced to shell out money as well,” continued Reyes.

Being “amateur in nature”, Filbasket decided to get its clearance from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force, and the Department of Health based on the latter’s circular for the leagues not under GAB and the Philippine Sports Commission.

But when Filbasket grows, Reyes said that it is willing to go pro and be regulated by GAB.

“But for this 26-day tournament, we are just trying to help the athletes get an allowance after the almost two years of lockdown with no sports,” he said.

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