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Iran’s Haddadi in the PBA?


Is there a possibility the likes of Iran’s Hamed Haddadi and Samad Nikkah Bahrami, Korea’s Moon Tae-Jong and Cho Sung Min, or Taiwan’s Tseng Wen-Ting and Lin Chih Chieh could play in the PBA starting next season?

The PBA board of governors would like to find out.

The league team representatives will discuss that, as well as other important issues concerning the 40th PBA season which starts Oct. 19, when they convene for the annual planning session in Seoul, South Korea.

The 12 board members, including representatives from expansion teams Blackwater and Kia Motors, and newcomer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), will leave for Incheon today and will meet tomorrow.

Newly-elected PBA chairman Pato Gregorio of Talk ’N Text will preside over the meeting and he has been vocal in expressing his desire to have Asian players play in the PBA as imports.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud will also discuss some other concerns, like the format for the three conferences, the 15 other players that will be included to the 25 Greatest Players in time for the celebration of the league’s 40th anniversary.

The league’s media bureau chief Willie Marcial, who is also special assistant to the commissioner, said that Asian imports and the format would be in the agenda of the board meeting.

“Open naman yan (Asian imports) na pag-usapan sa board,” said Marcial, who mentioned in the past plans to have the opening of the PBA at the newly-opened Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

“Aside from that, ang pag-uusapan sa board, yung tournament format, imports, Gilas, and other programs of the chairman,” said Marcial, adding that the possibility of bringing back the ‘unlimited height’ may also be touched in the meeting.

The league actually has its own calendar for the coming season, but Marcial said the board is still open to adjusting the schedule to accommodate Gilas Pilipinas, which is aiming for a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics via the FIBA-Asia Championship in China next year.