PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said that teams are now allowed to extend the expiring contracts of players until December 31 following the board of governors’ approval in their recent meeting.
The amiable executive said as much during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, adding that the league has already sent a memo to all ball clubs regarding the matter.
“Nagdesisyon ang governors na lahat ng players extended hanggang December 31 — option ng team. Kung hindi ka mapapapirma, free agent ka,” Marcial said in the Forum, powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, Amelie Hotel, Braska Restaurant, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
“‘Yung kontrata, kung sino lang gusto ng team—- option ng teams ‘yun,” he reiterated. “So, swerte ng mga players kasi may PBA man o wala, ang sweldo nila hanggang December 31.”
A number of players are seeing their deals lapse in August, led by former Most Valuable Player Arwind Santos and his San Miguel Beermen teammate Alex Cabagnot, as well as Jeron Teng of the Alaska Aces.
Among the other players whose pacts are about to expire are Blackwater Elite’s Carl Cruz; NorthPort Batang Pier’s Paolo Taha; Meralco Bolts’ John Pinto and Nico Salva; and Phoenix Super LPG’s Dave Marcelo and Jake Pascual.
The league had initially frozen all transactions last May, while the season remains on hold due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, although teams have to sign players within five days after their return to training.
This development, which is good news for players in such predicament, came after the league received the green light from the Inter-Agency Task Force to conduct practices and conditioning — guided by strict health protocols.
But while signings are allowed already, Marcial said that other transactions, especially player trades, have yet to be discussed by the board, who will once again convene in August to talk about Season 45.
“Ang pinagusapan namin ‘yung kontrata,” he said.
“Hindi namin napag-usapan ‘yung trades, ‘yung iba pang transactions. ‘Yun pa lang ang pinag-uusapan namin.”