By REY C. LACHICA
PARIS, France — Here’s a good news for professional cagers playing abroad.
To entice them to play in the PBA once more and perhaps combat player-poaching from rival leagues in the region, the PBA has changed some of its Draft rules during its planning session here.
Players who turned pro right after their collegiate careers without applying in the PBA Draft and are now playing abroad like RJ Abarrientos, SJ Belangel and Rhenz Abando will now be allowed to join the draft in the first three years of their eligibility.
“That would make it easier for them to come back should they decide, and start their careers with the PBA,” said PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas.
And to those who have already played in the league but are now playing abroad like Bobby Parks and Kiefer Ravena, they can return to the PBA but their rights will remain to their mother clubs.
Apart from those who have turned pro right after their collegiate careers, also eligible are players above 19 years old which is under the hardship rule of the league.
Players who have been out of the PBA for four to five years will go to lottery if they decide to return.
The mechanics of the lottery have yet to be determined by the PBA Board though.
But for players who did not join the draft proceedings and have played more than five years abroad, they are still welcome although their fates will depend on the decision of the board.