The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is composed of 12-member teams that vote on rules and regulations that govern the league.
Out of the 12 teams, two big companies own half of the league combined. The San Miguel Corporation has the San Miguel Beermen, the Barangay Ginebra Kings, and the Magnolia Hotshots under its fold, while rival MVP Group has control of TNT KaTropa, NLEX Road Warriors, and Meralco Bolts.
It is up for debate whether the off-court rivalry affects policy making, since we are all just on the outside looking in.
What is clear for the fans, however, is that drastic change must happen for the Association to improve. This is evident in the number of the comments on our previous article where we suggested things that the league should implement. The most embraced opinion that we threw out was the ‘one company, one team’ policy.
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Basically, it is what it says – one company can only own one team.
This means that, for example, San Miguel Corporation will have to choose one between the Beermen, the Kings, and the Hotshots. They will have to sell the franchise of the other two teams to new companies that want to have a crack at professional basketball. The same goes for the MVP group.
The policy will not take effect immediately as there are some things that need to be ironed out. This will have to be at least a four-year plan.
The first order of business is not choosing which teams are to be sold, but rather, what happens to the championships. Should the number of titles be given to the mother company, retained on the same franchise albeit with a new owner, or will it just be etched on the history books while the new franchise owners start from zero?
The next step will then be for SMC and MVP to determined which team will remain under them and which are to be sold. In the same period, the Association must accept applications for potential new team owners.
This first two moves should happen in a two-year time frame. This will give ample time for the teams to vote on governing rules on this change.
On the third year, the first teams will be given up to new owners. There will be a six-month transition to make sure that new owners are eased into the running the teams. Full control will be given a month before draft day.
The same thing will happen on year four of the plan. Hopefully, by then, each team is handled independently.
Will it happen?
That is up to the will of the PBA commissioner and the board of governors. We, as fans, can only trust that they are and will be doing what is in the best interest not only of the league, but, most importantly, the best interest of the fans.
If this would push through, which teams do you think will be sold?