A basketball career is not forever.
There comes a time when a pro struggles just to stay in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), and that’s the reality veterans Gary David and Dorian Pena are facing right now.
These two senior statesmen found themselves without a team after their respective squads waived them on Tuesday.
First, David, a scoring champion multiple times and a five-time All-Star, was released by San Miguel. The 38-year-old has yet to win a PBA championship and now needs to look elsewhere for another crack at a jewel.
Should there be no takers, sources told The Standard “El Granada” just might hang up his sneakers.
Meanwhile, Pena, the bruising Fil-American, was waived by GlobalPort as the Batang Pier sought to get younger. Now 39, the two-time Mythical First Team member played sparingly the past few seasons.
Just a week ago, Jimmy Alapag, also 38, called it a career for good. Named one of the 40 greatest players in league history, “Mighty Mouse” retired for the second time after helping Meralco make its first finals appearance as a franchise last conference, the 2016 Governors’ Cup.
Several weeks before that, former Most Valuable Player Eric Menk was likewise waived by Alaska. Like David, Menk and Pena are reportedly contemplating retirement.
Meanwhile in Seoul, league chairman Mikee Romero proposed stretching the All-Star break to a full week even as the PBA holds its first-ever All-Star regional competition.
Deviating from its current North-versus-South All-Star format, the PBA would pit the stars from the country’s biggest regions with this change as it makes stops
Competing All-Star teams could include the Kapampangans, the Bicolanos, the Visayans, the Ilocanos and the Fil-Americans in an All-Star tourney with stops in the Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon.
“That’s the concept. Assignment ni commissioner Chito Narvasa ang final set-up,” said Romero, the new PBA board chair, who wants to take the league to a new direction in an effort to reach more Filipino basketball fans and broaden its fan base.
“Halimbawa ako who is from Pampanga. Syempre gusto ko mas magaling ang team namin kaysa sa mga Visayan, Ilocano or Bicolano-speaking teams. So I will rally behind my team,” Romero said.
The league would adopt this regional plan to make D-League wings in Visayas and Mindanao, he added.