MANILA---The coming Boracay trip for the PBA won’t be fun and games after all.
The league’s board of governors will be making the trip next week not only to attend the All-Star Game but to also discuss the ticklish issue regarding team-on-leave Barako Bull’s Draft rights.
Commissioner Chito Salud has calendared that topic to be resolved during the five-day gathering, describing Barako Bull’s pick as a “vested right” of Talk ‘N Text.
Barako Bull filed a leave of absence from the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup before securing an extension for the season-ending Governors Cup, leaving the franchise with just a last place finish in the Philippine Cup.
And under league rules, the team that finishes last in the combined standings for all three tournaments has a 67 percent chance of snaring the top overall draft pick for the following season.
Past trades with Talk ‘N Text, however, gave the Tropang Texters, arguably the strongest, most balanced team in the league today, rights for the first overall selection which could either be Fil-Americans Chris Lutz or Marcio Lassiter.
The Commissioner’s Office has given Barako Bull a leave that will last only until the end of the current season and if the Energy Boosters don’t return in the next, the franchise will lose all its rights in the league other than previously disposed off Draft rights.
Salud, though, refused to reveal details on how he plans to resolve the issue, opting instead to present it to the board during the Boracay trip.
Powerade, Air21 and Rain or Shine all have shots at getting the No. 1 overall rookie selection.
Other top Draft prospects include Chris Tiu and JV Casio, regulars of the Smart-Gilas National team that will play in the Fiba-Asia Olympic qualifiers in China later this year.
Another potential first-round prospect is Paul Lee, the former Philippine Basketball League and Developmental League standout who is arguably the best amateur player not in the national pool.