August 15, 2019
The best Gilas team will be one has the best talent with enough preparation to develop teamwork and chemistry. It sounds like Mission Impossible for a country with a year-long pro league.
However, this season could provide a golden opportunity for us. We could have a record deep draft this coming season. There were some UAAP talents that could not make it because of the PBA’s D-League requirement, and they actually developed their game even more. These are Leonard Santillan, Alvin Pasaol and Sean Manganti among others. There is also a horde of Fil-foreign prospects like Joshua Munzon and Jason Brickman.
The FIBA citizenship rules
Because of the FIBA rules on defining citizenship, there are many Fil-foreigners with legitimate Filipino lineage who could not represent the Philippines as a local player. Imagine if Stanley Pringle, Christian Standhardinger, Mo Tautuaa, Chris Ross, Sean Anthony among other players can be part of the national pool, even Jordan Clarkson. We could a field a deeper team.
That dilemma will actually worsen as there are more players moving up who would not be FIBA eligible. The requirement of securing a passport before the age of 16, and the subsequent residency rules (that was the reason Clarkson was excluded) places us at a disadvantage.
There have been many Filipino officials who have appealed to repeal this rule, but it does benefit other countries. There are allegations that countries like Qatar would recruit young, tall Africans and grant them naturalization and a passport before the age of sixteen, boosting their national team. Their naturalization process is easier for them and it favors their program.
The PBA heavily relies on lineage and once that is proven, they would be accepted as long as they have certifications from the Bureau of Immigration or Department of Justice. Because of this conflict between the PBA and FIBA, there is a great divide between FIBA eligible players.
The 1999 precedent
In 1999, there was a barrage of Fil-foreign prospects that wanted to enter the league. For some reason, the PBA decided to allow the PBA teams to directly hire one Fil-foreigner. One of the justifications for this was the appeal of the Purefoods franchise regarding Nic Belasco. They mentioned that there were the ones that “discovered” Belasco and convinced him to fly to Filipino shores — only to be drafted by another team.
Thus in 1999, the PBA allowed the teams to sign their “discoveries.” Danny Seigle, Asi Taulava and Eric Menk were some of the best players that shaped the PBA. However, there were also some “Fil-shams” that were deported. Al Segova and Rob Parker were some of the players sent back because as it turned out, they were not really Filipinos.
This is why the DOJ certification is now a requirement from the get-go.
The proposal, and the schedule
The key dates for FIBA in 2020 are February 20-23, and November 27-30. The proposal is for PBA teams to lend their players to the national pool, and in exchange, the teams will have a chance to directly hire a Fil-foreign hopeful that is not FIBA eligible.
The players will only be lent to the national team during the two import-laden conferences. Those would be scheduled during the preparation times (before February and before November). Schedule the Philippine Cup sometime in March to July, with teams having their complete rosters.
Why It could work
If PBA teams are given an incentive to directly hire a Fil-foreigner, the higher ranked teams (SMB, Ginebra, TNT, Magnolia,ROS) would be more willing to allow their players (these teams have multiple players in the pool). They have low draft picks, and they can have a chance to get a quality rookie.
Also, the players will only be tapped on the import-laden conferences. Thus, the imports could fill their void. All players will return for the Philippine Cup, scheduled in the middle of the two window matches.
Local players in the draft would also benefit because they can have a chance to be drafted higher if some Fil-Ams are off the board.
It’s a wild idea, but it will result in a well-prepared Gilas team.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net