PBA accepts new rule proposals, which include raising the eligibility age for Fil-foreigners

Aug 31, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – Expect a surge in applications in the days leading up to the deadline for local and Fil-Foreigner applications, which is slated for 5:00 PM on September 10 at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City. The 2023 PBA Rookie Draft is rapidly approaching.

The PBA board of governors approved a substantial modification on May 26 during their meeting, making the forthcoming 2023 PBA Rookie Draft the first to be held under the new regulations. Terrafirma will be the first selection in this year’s draft.

The abolition of the 30-year age restriction for international players is one of the most noticeable changes in these new laws, and it has received excellent feedback. These regulation changes, according to PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, are “very welcoming,” showing a more open recruitment strategy.

Both local and foreign draft applicants must fulfill specific requirements in order to be eligible under the present rules. A candidate must meet the requirements of being at least 19 years old and having at least two years of college education completed, or they must be at least 22 years old.

Additionally, the eligibility requirements stress how crucial it is to have prior experience in regional collegiate leagues before joining an international professional league. No matter how old the candidate is, this requirement still applies. The applicant must also express their intention to participate in the PBA draft by the third year of being eligible, demonstrating the league’s commitment to fostering local talent.

Following a stay in a foreign professional league, athletes who elect to enter the draft after reaching their fourth or fifth year of eligibility will have their selection order determined by a special computer-generated lottery between the 12 PBA teams.

The league’s dedication to growing its talent pool is reflected in these rule changes, which also give local and foreign players the chance to compete on the PBA stage without being constrained by age limits. This change in rules is expected to give the draft process a new energy, which could lead to the discovery of untapped talent and the formation of more competitive and varied teams in the PBA.

The PBA hopes to achieve a balance with the forthcoming draft between developing domestic talent and accepting foreign players, maintaining a culture of growth and healthy competition within the league. This draft is highly anticipated since it ushers in a new age with regulations that open the door for a more diverse and vibrant PBA scene.

If a candidate has played abroad and enters the draft in their sixth or later year of eligibility, the Board must first conditionally approve their candidacy.

1. Terrafirma
2. Blackwater
3. Rain or Shine
4. Rain or Shine (from Phoenix)
5. NorthPort
6. Phoenix (from NLEX)
7. NLEX (from Converge)
8. Meralco
9. Converge (from Blackwater and TNT)
10. Converge (from Magnolia)
11. NorthPort (from Ginebra)
12. Terrafirma (from San Miguel Beer)

Each team will receive two picks in the first round: NorthPort, Terrafirma, Rain or Shine, and Rain or Shine. TNT, Ginebra, Magnolia, and San Miguel are the only teams without first-round picks.

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