Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc hopes that the players’ welfare comes into consideration in light of the PBA’s much-criticized decision to thumb down Kiefer Ravena’s plan to play for the Shiga Lakestars in Japan’s B.LEAGUE.
Together with Marvin Espiritu, Manotoc is the co-founder of Espiritu Manotoc Basketball Management (EMBM), which handles the 27-year-old star.
“‘Yung kay Kiefer… Well, medyo political siguro, but I’ve always been an advocate for the player. I mean, we’re agents, so talagang biased po kami,” the 32-year-old sportsman told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast, Tuesday.
“I think the PBA, hopefully, can consider the player and his welfare and his financial career.”
The PBA Board held a special meeting last Saturday, and eventually decided that Ravena should honor his contract with NLEX. Thus his bid to become just the second Filipino to play in the Japanese league took a massive hit.
Chairman Ricky Vargas said that the league did not want to set a bad precedent if they allowed the decorated guard to fly out while having a live contract with the Road Warriors, which is a three-year pact he signed last September.
The board also discussed the idea of a buyout contract, as pundits and fans alike have floated. The concept has met resistance, since it might be ‘very difficult’ for the league due to currency issues, according to the chairman.
This marks yet another controversy that could hound the league for a while. Still, Vice Chairman Bobby Rosales assures that the study group he heads is doing its best to address all issues as much as it can.
For Manotoc, himself a former athlete, he simply hopes that the league will put more premium on players and their rights.
“Hopefully there are compromises and concessions that can be made sa mga players po natin,” he told the session powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., MILO, Amelie Hotel, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.
“You guys know better than me, na wala po tayong Players’ Union, and so on and so forth. So I hope the rights of our players can also be at the forefront.”