PBA teams in danger of losing import prospects amid lack of IATF clearance

As the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is envisioning grander things that may possibly get the crowd back, there is still uncertainty on the services of imports for the league’s second conference.

The league is yet to receive an official clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the twelve teams to officially sign the foreign imports of their choice.

According to a team official, the imports are not yet authorized to sign contracts with PBA ball clubs until the IATF clearance comes. For now, the only thing that the imports can secure is commitment to play in the upcoming conference in November.

“Puro commitments lang ang maibibigay sa iyo ng imports. Ang problem kapag may ibang dumating sa kanila na offers and may ready contract na, siyempre kukunin na agad nila yung offer na may kontrata,” said the team official.

Meanwhile, Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra bared that the PBA’s request to the IATF has already been endorsed, but still waiting for a response.

Mitra guaranteed that the endorsement is now in the process as PBA Commissioner Willie Marcia has already discussed the matter with the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Undersecretary Brigido Dulay.

New Blackwater head coach Ariel Vanguardia mentioned that his team already encountered setback as their initial choice of import signed in a Cyprus club.

“Our choice now has another offer. So if we don’t confirm soon, we might be looking for another import again,” said Vanguardia. “Kumbaga, naka-hang yung negotiations, e. I’m sure other teams are also experiencing similar cases.”

The Blackwater Bossing team has something to look forward to before it plunges back to action, as the management isn’t done yet in tinkering its line-up.

With the pending approval from IATF, the supposed opening of the second conference in the second week of November could be moved to a later date.

The other teams have yet to reveal their choices of reinforcements and yet to start formal practices prior the 46th season’s second conference.

League chairman Ricky Vargas said all imports with 6-foot-6 height limit must be fully vaccinated.

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