The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) plans to add more names to its Greatest Players list for its upcoming golden anniversary, which is less than two years away.
Commissioner Willie Marcial has announced that the legendary list could potentially expand to 50 names as the league prepares to celebrate its 50th year in existence in 2025.
He mentioned during a guest appearance at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, “Baka dagdagan ‘yung Greatest Players, gagawing 50 Greatest po.”
When asked about the PBA Hall of Fame, the league’s chief initially addressed the priority of expanding the aforementioned list. However, he emphasized that this doesn’t diminish the importance of the Hall of Fame. Discussions regarding the Hall of Fame will follow after resolving matters related to the Greatest Players, as per Marcial.
He explained, “‘Yun po ang inaasikaso namin. Siguro after the Fifty Greatest, tsaka namin pupuntahan ‘yung Hall of Fame.
“Kasi maraming kailangan sa Fifty Greatest na tamang tama sa fiftieth year natin.”
Ten names are set to be added to the Greatest Players list, which grew from 25 to 40 in 2015 to commemorate the league’s 40th anniversary.
During the ‘FAB @ 40’ event, 15 additions were made to the list. These included Danny Ildefonso, Willie Miller, James Yap, Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, Kelly Williams, Jayjay Helterbrand, Jimmy Alapag, Mark Caguioa, Arwind Santos, Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Kerby Raymundo, Chito Loyzaga, and Marlou Aquino.
These luminaries joined the likes of Ramon Fernandez, Sen. Robert Jaworski, Bogs Adornado, Allan Caidic, Johnny Abarrientos, Ato Agustin, Francis Arnaiz, Ricardo Brown, Hector Calma, Philip Cezar, Atoy Co, Jerry Codinera, Kenneth Duremdes, Bernie Fabiosa, Danny Florencio, Abet Guidaben, Freddie Hubalde, Jojo Lastimosa, Lim Eng Beng, Samboy Lim, Ronnie Magsanoc, Vergel Meneses, Manny Paner, Alvin Patrimonio, and Benjie Paras. These players were all honored during the league’s 25th anniversary back in 2000.
Marcial acknowledged that the selection committee, of which he won’t be a part, will face challenges in choosing the 10 most deserving players. He offered a suggestion to assist the committee in making their choices.
He shared, “‘Yun po ang mahirap na selection, kailangan ‘yung selection committee ay makapili ng kung sinong karapat-dapat. Sinu-suggest ko po roon—’di naman ako sasama sa SC—na unahin muna natin ang mga 1975 to 1995.
“Dun muna tayo. Tas tsaka tayo dahan-dahan lumipat. Pwera na lang talaga kung outstanding, katulad ni June Mar Fajardo,” he included, referring to the PBA’s only six-time Most Valuable Player.
“Pero sa tingin ko pa lang po yun, ha. ‘Yun ang isu-suggest ko sa selection committee.”