With the impending restart of the Philippine Basketball Association’s 45th season, teams were given up to 5:00pm of Wednesday, September 23 to submit their 15-man rosters plus an optional reserve. They may enlist free agent players and renew those with expired contracts but trading is still prohibited.
This directive was issued by league commissioner Willie Marcial who added that the deadline is subject to adjustment depending on whether the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approves the October 9 resumption of the 2020 Philippine Cup at the Clark Freeport and Economic Zone in Pampanga.
“Pinapayagan na. Puwede ka nang kumuha ng free agent. Yun lang ang transaction natin, extension of the contract and free agent. Wala munang trade-trade. Siguro yung trading, magsi-simula pag nag-scrimmage na tayo,” stressed Marcial.
The league is currently awaiting the IATF’s go-signal for 5-on-5 scrimmages which it hopes to start by September 27. Teams are currently limited to small group workouts with strict health protocols and physical distancing.
The venue of the full on practices is also up to the IATF since Metro Manila is still under General Community Quarantine which still restricts contact sports. An option for teams is to hold their practices in Pampanga since the province is under the less-restrictive MGQC and then stay on until the restart.
Heading the list of free agents are Sol Mercado, RR Garcia, Davonn Potts, Jansen Rios, Jaymo Eguilos, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Jaypee Mendoza, Chris Exciminiano, Ronald Tubid, Yousef Taha, Jason Ballesteros, JK Casino, Jerramy King and Julian Sargent. Veterans PJ Simon and Sonny Thoss are also technically available although both have already signified their intention to retire.
Other unrestricted free agents with right to salary because of an existing contract are Chris Bitoon, James Sena, Chris Javier, AC Soberano and Jayjay Alejandro.
Each of the 12 teams are allowed to bring in 25 people, including 16 players, inside the bubble. Once someone leaves the bubble, he/she will not be allowed to go back inside anymore.
Teams don’t have the option of making roster changes once inside.
Two games will be played daily at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) gym in Angeles City with the entire PBA contingent being shuttled to and from the 4-star Hotel Quest Plus Conference Center in Clark.