PBA May Issue Import Guidelines

On: 18 July 2008

PBA Commissioner Sonny Barrios

By Waylon Galvez
Manila Bulletin Online, 18 July 2008

After the falling out between the Sta. Lucia management and its import Lee Benson, the PBA Commissioner’s Office is planning to issue new guidelines regarding hiring of new imports to protect other teams from avaricious imports.

Sta. Lucia governor and team manager Buddy Encarnado was incensed with Benson’s numerous demands, forcing the Realtors, the Philippine Cup champions, to play all-Filipino in their crucial quarterfinal showdown with Ginebra last Wednesday.

Benson, who promised earlier to bring Sta. Lucia to the quarters, reportedly threatened not to play his best after his demands were thumbed down by the management.

Without the 6-foot-10 Benson, the Realtors proved to be easy prey for the Gin Kings who romped to a 113-85 win.

"So far we don’t have a specific guideline, like dealing with the case of Sta. Lucia and Benson," Commissioner Sonny Barrios said yesterday. "Because the teams deal with this kind of situations."

"But we’re looking at some options. We don’t want to micro-manage the teams, because it is actually their prerogative who to get as import. If they have problems it’s their call, unless there are violations on league rules," Barrios added.

Encarnado said that he would propose to the PBA board to ban imports who have the notoriety of playing mercenary in the league just like Benson.

"We (board) should have a unified and strong reaction on this issue. We should not be blackmailed," Encarnado said. "The league should be steadfast and have a common stand on this."

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