PBA increases cap, import salary, roster size

For next season, the PBA approved the use of a 14-man lineup to all 10 participating teams. The move is similar to the one made by the NBA last season wherein each team can have as many as 15 players on its roster (extending throughout the playoffs). This will basically scrap the practice of placing players on the injury list. Previously, teams were allowed to have a maximum of 2 players on the injured list. The glitch was that the salaries of these players do not count against the cap, making it very difficult to determine if a team has exceeded the league mandated salary cap. The PBA salary cap is a hard cap, which means teams are disallowed to exceed the cap no matter what reason, even if that reason is to re-sign one’s own free agents.

The great thing about this scenario is that teams can accommodate more players on their roster. With the coming PBA draft and the looming free agency, a lot of players will be displaced. An additional twenty players to the active roster will be a welcome sight to players who are on the bubble (borderline prospects). Scrapping the “injury list” thing also means teams can now directly activate injured players without having to wait for 5 playing games before allowing the player(s) to suit up, making it more flexible for teams to exercise their options.

In the light of this, the Board has decided to increase the team salary cap to P32M to cover the salaries of the two additional players on the roster. The previous cap was P30M. This is in contrast to the previous years wherein team salary cap keeps on dwindling after each and every season. While current player maximum salary (currently pegged at P350,000 per month) stays the same, salaries for imports will be increased from $12,000 to $30,000 beginning the 2007-08 Fiesta Cup. This will pave the way for teams to enlist NBA-caliber talents, and allow them to compete directly with other leagues that utilizes foreign reinforcements. Teams have had a difficult time convincing imports to ply their trade here as other Asian and European teams are offering far better remuneration. The height restriction for imports will be scrapped beginning the next import-flavored conference. Will unlimited ceiling and higher pay guarantee the signing of a super import for teams? Well, one thing that I can say is teams must still do their respective assignments and scout the best possible import who will be a fit for them and not have to rely solely on the assessments and recommendations of their agents. You either get the next great import to ever grace Philippine shores or end up with a lemon on ice tea.

James Singleton
“If he remains unsigned, ex-LA Clipper James Singleton could be a prize catch for teams seeking an exciting, athletic performer on the court”

There is also a proposal to hire European imports instead of Americans. I have nothing against Europeans but if the PBA wants gate receipts to soar high, you will have to hire Americans unless European imports can also razzle-dazzle and entertain Pinoy cage fans with their antics. We’ve always hired American imports since the 70s and the reason for that is that they’re good, they’re strong and athletic, they’re a showboat and make our players better. Basketball is entertainment – that’s the bottomline! Why do you think I am writing, viewing or reading stuff if I am not entertained? Of course, this not to generalize European players. There are also Europeans who are black, athletic and play the same way as Americans but the best are simply off-limits. It’s either they’re headed to the NBA or locked up to a multi-year contract by a European club. If the purpose is to allow ourselves to acclimatize to European play, it’s better that they send the Philippine team to Europe or simply get a European as coach.

Links below:

Philippine Star

Manila Bulletin

People’s Journal