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Pinoy Ballers thriving Overseas and its effect on the future of PBA

Pinoy Ballers thriving Overseas and its effect on the future of PBA

Just recently, newly-crowned UAAP champion and University of the Philippines star Ricci Rivero signed the dotted line to play with the Taoyuan Pilots in Taiwan’s P.League. Rivero joined the list of young filipino basketball players who brought their talent outside the Philippines and played overseas.

Having a professional basketball career overseas has always been aspired for by every filipino hooper. But somehow, it always felt as if it is not achievable.

Until now.

Pinoy hoopers are now getting their name recognized overseas. It is evident by the continued migration of young talents overseas. Instead of declaring for draft in our very own league, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Although a lot of pinoy hoopers have tried to make a name overseas, Thirdy Ravena showed the blueprint. Ravena paved the way when he became the first asian import in the Japan B-League. Ravena signed with the San-En NeoPhoenix for the 2021-22 season. He made this move after completing his stint with in the UAAP for the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Since then, a lot of players have followed his move and joined the Japan B-League as well.

Among those are his fellow UAAP standouts Kobe Paras who signed with the Niigata Albirex BB. Siblings Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano who joined the Ibaraki Robots and EarthfriendsTokyo Z. Gilas and Ateneo star Dwight Ramos also hopped in and played with the Toyoma Grouses.

It’s not only the college standouts who started to join the trend of taking their talents overseas. Thirdy’s own brother Kiefer Ravena left his ball club in the PBA. He also joined the B-League and signed with the Shiga Lakerstars. One of the most controversial move is the signing of Bobby Ray Parks. He left the TNT tropang giga, right after his contact and instead joined the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.

While it is a superb experience for filipino hoopers to have the chance to play and make their own name overseas, the future our very own league, PBA, is left hanging in the balance. Young talents and even those who are already professionally playing here, is ditching the PBA to try their lack outside the country.

It used to be a dream for every Filipino basketball player to make it to our big league. The PBA is the pioneer pro cage league in Asia. But due to the emergence of different leagues outside our country, and the different conversations about the politics and anomalies in the PBA, many young talents, or atleast the highly-ranked talents, are looking past the PBA to seek more lucrative ventures elsewhere.

Higher level of competition and better salary deals

According to top player agent Marvin Espiritu, the higher level of competition and much lucrative salary deals are some of the main reasons why filipino ballers are opting to play overseas.

Playing overseas will definitely exposed our players to a much higher level of competition. It is due to the fact that they are not just going to play against local talents. They are also playing against imports from other countries. And let’s be honest, the level of competition here in the Philippines is not comparable to the competition overseas. Especially in Japan, China and Korea who are the top dogs in Asia.

Aside from that, playing overseas means a much higher pay check for players as well. According to Spin.Ph, Filipino players are bound to get salaries in the vicinity of US$30,000 a month (around P1.5 million) in different leagues overseas. That salary is over twice as much as the P420,000 a month that serves as the ceiling for the salaries of superstars in the PBA.

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What does the future holds for the PBA?

Despite the growing numbers of filipino basketball players who opted to play overseas, the Philippine Basketball Association insist that the league’s future is still in great hands. Although the situation is not ideal and a bit problematic, it is still not enough to sound the alarm yet.

Yes, the PBA is losing significant amount of talent to leagues overseas for a multitude of reasons, but the losses have not been bad enough. Atleast according to the PBA. The PBA believes that those reasons can definitely be addressed in some way.

But we can’t deny that young ballers taking their talents overseas will definitely lower the competition in the PBA. Every year, ball clubs who are scouting college standouts via draft will lose the chance to snag a franchise player.

We all know that lower competition means lower viewership and revenue for the league itself.

But if there will be some effect, the trend of playing overseas might force the PBA to revamp their system and expand internationally.

If PBA will open its door more to international players and have more viewership, the league’s revenue will definitely see an increase which will enable the teams to offer a much lucrative deals.

Although, that is still a work in progress. Right now, what we, as fans, can do is to support our young pinoy ballers. They are representing our country overseas. Either way, this will only benefit Philippine basketball as a whole as we are now going to produce more talented players.

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