Basketball

Shopinas asks PBA for more draft picks

Air 21 Global President and CEO Sheila Lina will probably represent Shopinas.com in the PBA board

The Shopinas.com Clickers, the newest franchise in the PBA, has asked for concessions from the league’s Board of Governors to be able to form a more competitive team.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud said the board already received a copy of the Shopinas.com request, which will be discussed on Tuesday in a meeting along with the league’s budget for the 37th season.

“I just cannot disclose the specifics because the board will still decide on Shopinas’ request,” Salud added.

The Clickers took the first step in their buildup for next season’s cage wars by tapping the services of heralded former La Salle coach Franz Pumaren.

But with the team taking over the old Barako Bull franchise, which had seen its best players traded to other teams, Shopinas.com team manager Jovie Saddul said they are asking for additional ways to get better talent.

“We’re not an expansion team. We’re an existing team, so we will ask for a fair concession, probably to get additional draft picks,” said Saddul.

“I do hope the PBA board will come up with a decision fair enough for us to come up with a competitive line up.”

In the history of the pro league, several teams that bought existing franchises got some concessions from the board upon their entry.

In 1988, Purefoods was allowed to directly sign talented amateurs Jojo Lastimosa, Jerry Codiñera, Glen Capacio, and Alvin Patrimonio after buying the rights to the old Tanduay franchise. The team also got to keep the core of the Tanduay team, which included Ramon Fernandez, Freddie Hubalde, Willie Generalao, and JB Yango, among others. The Hotdogs were also given the top pick in the draft that season, which it used on center Jack Tanuan.

But the league board had been much more stingy when it comes to giving concessions to entities that bought existing franchises. In 2002, when Air 21 bought the returning Tanduay franchise, the team didn’t receive any additional draft choices.

Last season, the Meralco Bolts was given an extra second round draft choice after the power utility’s purchase of the Sta. Lucia Realty franchise. The team got the first pick in the second round, which it used on Bambam Gamalinda.

Female board member

Sheila Lina, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Air 21 Global which operates Shopinas.com, will most likely act as the team’s representative to the PBA board.

Lina will follow in the footsteps of former senator Nikki Coseteng as a female representative to the male-dominated board. The daughter of the league’s founding president, Emerson Coseteng, the younger Coseteng was a big draw in the early years of the league when she became the first female team manager and board representative for her family’s teams, Mariwasa Honda and Galerie Dominique.

The 2011 PBA Draft will be broadcast on AKTV on IBC-13 on Sunday, August 28, at 7 p.m.

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