With a 17 year old age minimum, it has been said that the PBA-DL might entice less academically enthused high school stars into skipping the collegiate leagues altogether and begin earning a living professionally. Such a system would also be advantageous for players who come from poor backgrounds and who really, really need the money for one reason or another. Thus, it was only a matter of time before someone would decide to take that route.
Apparently, that time has come.
Former JRU Light Bomber and UP Maroon Joshua Saret has opted to give up his UAAP eligibility and play exclusively for the PBA-DL. Saret, who is best-known for scoring 83 points in the NCAA Jrs. division, has signed with the Blackwater team, according to an article in today's Philippine Star.
Under UAAP rules, a player must play two seasons under Team A for a university before being allowed to play in minor leagues. Failure to do so renders you ineligible to play for any university in the UAAP.
There is still an outside chance that Saret can still play for an NCAA team. Under NCAA rules, a player must only establish a single year's residency to play in a minor league.
Will other players follow Saret's lead? It will certainly be something to keep tabs on in the future.