Retired players’ fund, D-League expansion among PBA’s plans in next 3-5 years
TOKYO – With the future in mind, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has come up with a list of undertakings which it hopes to realize within a three to five-year time frame for the benefit the players, the league, and sports in general.
Included in the league’s long-term view are the creation of a retired players’ trust fund and sports academy, along with an expanded Developmental League and the possibility of accepting two more expansion franchises.
League President and CEO Chito Salud presented the proposals to the PBA Board under chairman Robert Non during its annual planning session here at the Tokyo Hilton.
Salud made it clear though the plans are not for immediate implementation, but hopes to realize it within the next three to five years.
The retired welfare trust fund, according to the former commissioner, is more on the health care needs of the players, and should not be confused with the existing players’ trust fund, which pertains strictly, solely, and exclusively to educational needs.
“Yung retired players welfare fund the proposal is to help them subsidize their health care needs. So we have to find sources for the seed money,” said Salud.
The league executive also added the need to find an ideal location where the sports academy will rise and serves as training and rehab facilities for various sports.
“It will also house a training facility, along with residential accommodations and commercial premises,” he added.
The D-League is likewise one aspect which Salud believes need to be developed, disclosing plans of expanding it by staging tournaments in Cebu, Davao, and Luzon, particularly in the Ilocos region.
He also said the possible creation of a D-League featuring women’s players.
“We will embark on that. Give us a year and we’ll introduce a women’s D-League,” bared Salud.
As for the league itself, he mentioned about the possibility of accepting at least two expansion franchises after welcoming Blackwater and Mahindra (formerly KIA Motors) to the fold last season, bringing to a record 12 the total number of member teams.
Everything else though still depends on the way the latest expansion teams will perform in the coming seasons.
“We will accommodate expansion teams, maybe two within the next three to five years depending on the performance of the last two that we accepted,” said Salud.
Again, he said the league is looking at fulfilling the projects within a five-year window.
“Hindi immediate implementation yan, but at least we have a direction for that,” said Salud.
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