PBA not keen on buyout option for Kiefer's case

Published June 6, 2021, 5:49 PM

by Jonas Terrado

The PBA is lukewarm to the idea of possibly allowing Japanese club Shiga Lakestars to buy out Kiefer Ravena’s live contract with the NLEX Road Warriors.

Amid calls that a buyout may be the best solution that could benefit both sides, PBA chairman Ricky Vargas said that the league is not too keen on exploring such option.

“In the NBA, you just buy out the contract. The consequences of that are very difficult for us because their currency is much higher, right? And you can buy you out anytime,” Vargas said after Saturday’s special board meeting.

“So we are a little bit careful discussing that matter if we would allow a foreign team to buy out the contract of a player,” he added.

The PBA Board of Governors ruled with finality that Ravena can’t proceed with his bid to suit up as the Lakestars’ Asian import for the 2021-22 B.League season under the terms of the Uniform Players Contract.

Despite understanding where the PBA is coming from, some fans felt the situation, a very unprecedented one since the offer came from a foreign club, can result in a win-win solution by allowing changes in the league’s by-laws.

There were a few who brought up the system being used in football like the payment of transfer fees or even a player being loaned for a specific time to other clubs.

Former PBA commissioner Noli Eala also sees this as something the league can look at, provided that it is put in a proper context.

A study group headed by PBA vice chairman Bobby Rosales is finalizing recommendations on possible changes on some league rules, one of which is the restrictive free agency provisions where Vargas mentioned that the “team owns you forever until it releases you.”

Vargas and PBA vice chairman Bobby Rosales didn’t disclose much when asked if there are recommendations for changes in other provisions like Ravena’s case where players can suit up abroad despite a live PBA contract.

“I cannot go into specifics since we still have to present this to the board kasi baka ma-misinterpret, but we are trying to address difficult issues also. Let’s put it that way” said Rosales.