PBA commissioner Willie Marcial believes that the unrestricted free agency rule, which was established during the time of the late former PBA chairman Ely Capacio for the benefit of players who want to play for the team of their choice at the end of their contracts, is going well so far.
The rule took effect at the turn of the year and is applicable to players who were drafted in 2014.
Alaska big man Rodney Brondial started the ball rolling by declining a two-year extension offer from the Aces and eventually signing with San Miguel. Meralco guard John Pinto followed suit by taking his act to Brgy. Ginebra despite an extension offer from the Bolts.
Terrafirma wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser just recently turned down a two-year deal from the Dyip and is now free to sign with any team.
“As of now, okay naman. Wala namang problema,” said Marcial during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.
“Para sa mga players ito. Dati, sinasabi ng mga fans na papaano makakaalis ‘yan eh may rights lagi ang teams. Eto, may free agency na,” he added.
While it may be beneficial to some, the rule can be disadvantageous to others.
“Ang disadvantage lang sa players, ‘yun nga sige, free agent muna ako, hindi muna ako pipirma. Sugal mo ‘yun. Gamble mo ‘yun, kasi kung walang kumuha sa ‘yo, babalik ka doon. Eh kung hindi ka na kunin? So sugal ‘yun,” stressed the former league statistician.
The rule, however, may be revisited in the future if it causes more disparity and imbalance in the league.
“Pag nakita natin na disadvantage sa liga, or kung parang lugi ang liga, or pangit tingnan, ire-revisit namin. Ire-revisit ng board, ire-revisit namin kung anong maganda para sa liga,” said Marcial.
“As of now, wala naman, okay naman. So hindi pa natin, walang dapat ipangamba, as of now.”