Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times


Ricky Vargas hopes naturalized players can play in PBA one day

PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas agreed that naturalized Filipinos who served the country should be given the chance to see action in the league.

This comes after former Gilas Pilipinas reinforcements Andray Blatche and Marcus Douthit took to Twitter weeks ago to express their desire to play.

“Our naturalized players who have served the country should at least be given a chance to play with us,” he told Radyo5’s Power and Play. Saturday.

Last December 26, Blatche suddenly replied to a tweet by the league during the TNT-Rain or Shine Governors’ Cup tiff with, “I wanna come play.”

Douthit then followed suit two days later. He tweeted the league asking when will the league allow naturalized cagers like him to play as locals.

The 41-year-old had already played in the PBA before, although as an import. He suited up for Air21 in the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup, before representing Blackwater in the 2015 edition of the mid-season conference.2015-PBA-Commissioners-Cup-Rain-or-Shine-vs-Blackwater-Marcus-Douthit Ricky Vargas hopes naturalized players can play in PBA one day Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Blatche, unlike his predecessor, never played in the PBA. But he was considered by NLEX twice for the same tilt — first in 2014, and in 2019 on the condition that Gilas qualified for the World Cup in China which it did.2019-FIBA-World-Cup-Qualifiers-Gilas-Yeng-Guiao-x-Andray-Blatche Ricky Vargas hopes naturalized players can play in PBA one day Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

That was the time when Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao was also serving as the Filipino dribblers’ chief bench tactician.

Their tweets subsequently reignited the long-standing debate whether or not naturalized players like them should play as locals in the league.

While he admitted that the PBA has yet to take a much deeper look into the matter, Vargas effectively expressed openness into that idea.

#ReadMore  Marcial out to get back loss to Khyzniak in Tokyo

“Sa ngayon, the door is closed pa on that, that they become a local player in the pro league. We have not looked at it favorably at the moment,” he said.

“But this is, again, the changing landscape of basketball,” added the long-time sports figure, who’s also the governor of the TNT Tropang Giga.

“If they can play in the national team, why can’t they play in the PBA?”

All PBA games stream live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

The second game of each playdate is also livestreamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

Tiebreaker Times Logo

You May Also Like


Having experience in holding a bubble, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) makes it a point to be of assistance to leagues in need of mounting...


The PBA is simply waiting word from Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) regarding the eligibility of Gilas Pilipinas draftees from 2019. Those selected from...


The PBA Board is set to convene next week to decide on the fate of Season 46, which is stalled anew by the latest...


Much needed help has arrived for Terrafirma. The Dyip have finally welcomed Joshua Munzon back as the 2021 top pick is now in town...

Bandwagon Wire

So last January 9, Phoenix Super LPG top player Matthew Wright posted on Twitter this reaction to a PBA website story on the current...


The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is looking to make SMART Araneta Coliseum the home of the 2022 Governors’ Cup resumption. Chairman Ricky Vargas disclosed...


It didn’t take long for Ginebra to address Stanley Pringle’s absence. Days after disclosing that the former BPC won’t return for the PBA Governors’...


Nard Pinto has left Meralco after three years. An unrestricted free agent since December 31, the 5-foot-11 guard out of Arellano University has signed...