Amid unrestricted free agency, Espiritu tells players to know their worth

Published January 12, 2022, 10:29 AM

by Jonas Terrado

PBA players are advised to do more soul-searching before opting to invoke the league’s new rule that allows some to become unrestricted free agents.

Player agent Marvin Espiritu said those who would want to test the waters will have to be aware if there are plenty of options available in order to eventually get the best deal possible.

“That’s where you have to assess yourself, kung may value ka,” Espiritu said in the Bull by the Horn podcast that aired recently. “If you want to test the market, gamble sayo yun, lalo na kung role player ka.

“If you are pegged as a role player and you will test the market for your free agency, dapat sigurado ka na may interest sayo. You have to be confident kasi isusugal mo sarili mo na may kukuha sayo.

“Ngayon, para gawin mo yun, the mother team, on the side, before you enter that market, more or less, may babalikan ka na may offer na nasa mesa,” he added.

The son of long-time agent Danny Espiritu continued that the risk may lead to the player to lose his bargaining edge once other teams expressed no interest in offering him a contract.

“You can always test the market, but make sure na may kukuha sayo kasi kung walang kukuha sayo at pagbalik mo sa mother team mo, they have all the leverage,” he said.

“Mawawalan ka rin ng leverage to ask kung magkano gusto mo, wala kang room to increase your salary,” added Espiritu.

The PBA has allowed players who were drafted starting in 2014 to become unrestricted free agents by the end of their seventh season in the league.

Two players immediately took advantage of the new policy when Rodney Brondial and Nards Pinto signed with new teams after their contracts expired last Dec. 31.

Brondial left Alaska for San Miguel Beer amid his best season in the league while Pinto moved to Barangay Ginebra after a standout campaign for Meralco in the Philippine Cup and the early part of the postponed Governors’ Cup.