Alaska Aces owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu said he would be willing to pay players more if the PBA increased the maximum monthly salary to as much as P1 million if doing so would address what he called an unbalanced playing field.
Uytengsu said on SportsCenter that violating the salary cap set by the PBA for each team only hurts the pro league in the long run.
"I know we have a couple of players in the past who we were paying max salaries and they said that they wanted to leave," Uytengsu said. "I asked why, and they said, 'I want to make more money on another team.' ... There was that wink, that nod, and we understood what that meant."
Uytengsu, the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the PBA Press Corps Awards Night last month, said he does not hold players back when they want to leave.
"I know a PBA player's career can be very short, but it's not healthy for the league. Either increase the players' salaries and make the teams pay high salaries for the player or don't have a salary cap," he said. "But don't say one thing and do another."
And should the pro league decide to increase the maximum monthly salary for a player in the near future, he won't oppose it.
"I'll be happy to do it. If you want to pay a player P1M a month, just state the obvious and do the obvious, but don't say it's P450,000 (max salary per month) and then someone's making one or two million pesos under the table," he said.
Aces' Uytengsu: PBA playing field not level
Alaska Aces owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu said the playing field in the PBA is not level and he thinks there are several reasons the league is not doing well.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial declined to directly address Uytengsu's initial comments at the PBA Press Corps Awards last month.
Alaska is currently tied with Magnolia at second in the all-time winningest teams in PBA history with 14 championships each, behind San Miguel Beer's league-best 25 titles.
The Aces finished second in the 2018 Governors' Cup, falling to the Pambsang Manok in the Governors' Cup Finals last December.