The PBA Board is made up of a flock of dinosaurs struggling to keep up with the times. Even more so, they're struggling to read the mindset of the Millennial and Generation Z players. They've also overrated the value of the league from the perspective of the young players who all grew up watching the NBA more than the PBA.
Millennial and Generation Z personalities like to travel and explore. They take calculated risks and set lofty ambitions for themselves. They can be irreverent and non-complicit to certain set of rules and regulations. They like to look at various options and won't hesitate to take the unexplored path.
The Ravena and GDL brothers, Ken Tuffin, etc. are examples of today's generation who won't subscribe to the norm. This is where the PBA is completely lost - all these threats of sanctioning players, etc. may not worry these young players that much. The PBA isn't the only league in the world where they can play. The decision-making of the Board manifests a backward mindset that may have worked in the 70's to the 90's but is hardly relevant today. It's not just an issue of supply and demand (more leagues to consider instead of only the PBA or MBA or PBL before), it's also a generational behavior that the Board simply couldn't (or wouldn't want to) understand.
For these players, so what if you ban them? They'll play elsewhere. If the B-League doesn't want them anymore, then they'll consider other choices, then go back to the PBA. They'll probably say, "you want an apology letter with a request for re-enlistment...sure, we'll do that...since you need us also, we're sure you can't live up to the alleged 5-year ban and will promptly reinstate us when we apologize..."
Simply put, the PBA has nothing but an empty card in its hands. Sure, they can bluff, but these young players are just as good....they don't easily blink.
What the PBA can do is to learn to live with the times. Open the league globally, accommodate regional neighbors and let them play in the league without restrictions. In the PBA's case, they are still imposing a limit of five (5) Fil-foreigners in a roster - another totally backward way of thinking. How do we expect the Chinese, the Taiwanese, the Sokors, the Aussies, the Kiwis, etc. to play in the PBA when even slots for legitimate Fil-Fors are limited?
Tie-up with international leagues by having a common schedule, and then, on a vacant month, come up with an All-Asia championship where the top 2 teams per league would gather in one invitational tournament to determine which team is the best ball club in Asia.
Open the doors for foreign coaches to assume formal coaching duties in the PBA. The transfer of technology will be significant and improve the skills and talents of both the coaches and the players. No one can deny that guys like Dwight Ramos, Will Navarro, SJ Belangel, Geo Chiu, etc. want to play for Tab Baldwin because of his ability to improve their games significantly. Imagine six (6) Tab Baldwins or Ron Jacobs handling PBA teams and see the differences with how the game will be played from thereon? Imagine how our local coaches - Cone, Black, Chot, Yeng, etc. - try to adapt as quick as they can if only to make themselves competitive against these foreign mentors?
Revisit the PBA Constitution and make the necessary revisions. If the VMV (Vision, Mission, Values) don't conform to the present needs, rework them. Since the Board thinks from the perspective of managers running a company, have them discern the fundamental problems plaguing the league - particularly the waning support from the fans. Is the business model still relevant? Is the PBA still the primary entertainment sports medium in the country?
Focus on the one reason why the league surged to its popularity peak back in the mid-80's to early 90's - parity. That was when one watches the games live or on television genuinely not knowing which team will win in the day's doubleheader. Since they joined the PBA, the two newest franchises - Blackwater and Terrafirma - have yet to crack the semifinal round and have found themselves toting a losing win-loss card every season.
Unless the Board recognizes there's a problem, solutions will never be discussed. PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas has to find a way to convince himself, much more the Board, that their obsolete mindset cannot compete with the changing times in today's totally different landscape.