It has been years – and so many conferences for that matter – that only a quartet of the 12 PBA teams get to figure in championship finals.
You know them well, don’t you?
Majority of basketball fanatics somehow have cheered only for Brgy. Ginebra,San Miguel Beer, Magnolia and TNT.
You see the proof when they play each other at the MOA, Araneta Coliseum or elsewhere.
The first three are well-known sister teams belonging to the San Miguel Corporation, a conglomerate that has helped the PBA survived the critical times it was in before.
TNT is the MVP franchise that has firmly challenged the dominance of corporate rival SMC such that the former likewise organized two more squads – Meralco and NLEX – to keep in step.
Until this was being written, the SMC ballclubs continue to dominate the pro league with TNT offfering stiff resistance.
So you understand now why when a three team trade comes up, the player most talked about is either taken by the Gin Kings or the Beermen or the Hotshots
The same scenario happens when TNT, Meralco and NLEX are involved.
This is to circumvent a long standing rule that sister teams cannot engage trades between themselves directly.
Anyway, I think serious PBA fans – not only the die hards – want some other team aside from the teams cited above to gate crash the Big 4 party.
Perhaps, it will do the PBA more good if Converge snares one of the championship trophies in the near future.
Or NLEX. Or Meralco. And maybe a rejuvenated Rain or Shine which is again under the helm of returning mentor Yeng Guiao.
Or even NorthPort.
The task looks very difficult because the best players in the league are already in the payroll of the Big Four.
Not only that.
The top bench strategists are also already contracted by these franchises because they can afford to pay them at least six figures in compensation and salaries, not to mention juicy bonuses when championships are won.
Maybe I’m imagining things because if the current situation is to be crtically analyzed, another decade will perhaps pass before a gate crasher appears in the horizon.
Until then, it is an idea that can be nurtured.
Remember that Cone, Guiao and Reyes were once understudies and they gatecrashed the party when their individual time and oppotunity came.
I know this because I personally saw how Cone and Guiao did it. (Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!