Parity in competition in sports leagues is an ideal setup, but not necessarily achieved.
Looking at the PBA, it will take a lot of imagination to say that there is parity, not with the way some teams are dominating the league in the past years.
Now, do I have anything against the fact that this is happening?
No, because I look at it from the business point of view of companies wanting to win as they will do whatever it takes to win—that is business, plain and simple.
Of course, there will be the detractors, pointing out the obvious that the real competition is between the two rival groups—San Miguel Corp., under Ramon S. Ang, and the MVP group of Manny Pangilinan.
But again, these are the groups who are interested in basketball and can afford to finance several teams simultaneously. You see, it is easy to say that the PBA should only allow one team each from each group, but then how many teams will be left? Alaska, Rain or Shine, Blackwater, Phoenix, North Port and Terrafirma, plus one each from SMC and MVP—that makes it 8.
But I know that the PBA in the past has already determined what is the right number of teams to make the league feasible, and sorry it is not 8.
But I am just dreaming, right? So stretch the imagination, who do you think will be left to represent each group?
For SMC, the Beermen as the longest-staying PBA member is the logical choice, but Barangay Ginebra is the league’s most popular team, so what happens?
For the MVP Group, it’s a toss up between TNT, the original PBA team in the league (remember Mobiline?), but under Tony Boy Cojuangco’s PLDT until MVP bought the company and maintained the team, and NLEX.
So again you ask, what happens?
Also, stretching further one’s imagination in this theoretical situation that even I do not see happening if all the SMC and the MVP Groups do merge into one team each, can you imagine the All-Star teams that would come from the best players of San Miguel Beer, Ginebra San Miguel, and Magnolia in one team, and another from TNT, NLEX, and MERALCO?
So did we solve the parity problem or will we see a resurrection of the Crispa-Toyota days of old when these two teams simply took turns in winning championships?
Well, some would say I am approaching it wrongly, that in the event that the two rival groups do agree to field only one team each (and please remember, this will not happen), all the players in the league should go into a special draft and the remaining 8 teams draft one after the other until all the teams can form their new teams.
And with each team, then capable of beating one another, now that is called parity.
As I have been saying, this will not happen.
What actually happened is that I stretched my imagination to the fullest, and this was the result, a PBA league that has reached parity—in my dreams.
Now that I have achieved my dream, I can go to sleep already.