Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PBA D-League to fill gap left by PBL

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Salud stressed the importance of creating a league that will bridge the gap between collegiate and professional basketball, given the inactivity of the Philippine Basketball League (PBL).
Salud said the PBA Development League (PBA D-League), which is scheduled for launch early 2011, will help bridge this gap.
“While we fully support other collegiate leagues, we feel there is a gap within these leagues [PBA and collegiate]. So there should be an intermediate league where players can develop physically and mentally," he said in
Salud said it is the PBA's obligation to help scout for future players who can make it to the PBA's Annual Draft.
“We’re obligated and mandated to open new areas of competitions as far as areas of basketball is concerned, to show fans that the PBA is open to helping the development of basketball in the country,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate na ang daming usapan that the PBL would not be active as before....The PBA would not be caught napping. The PBA needs to act and to act now,” the commissioner of the first play-for-pay league in Asia added.
Salud is scheduled to present the PBA D-League's proposal before the PBA Board of Governors on January 25. He is confident that the panel will approve the proposal.
“I remain confident that it will be given clearance. I already made some adjustments which we will present to the [PBA] Board for approval,” he said of the project inspired by the National Basketball Association (NBA) D-League.
For more than 25 years, PBL has been the breeding ground of players aspiring to be professional basketball players.
It became inactive last year due to financial constraints.
An attempt to revive PBL was made by merging it with Liga Pilipinas or Tournament of the Philippines. However, it only lasted a single season.
Support from PBL, NBC
PBA's operations and technical chief, Rickie Santos, also divulged that teams from the PBL itself have also expressed intentions of joining the PBA D-League.
He added there are other teams from the National Basketball Conference (NBC) who also sent their interest in the project.
Santos said a field of 6 to 8 teams is the ideal set-up for the D-League. He said that among the supporters in forming a team is the group of Manny V. Pangilinan, through Maynilad and San Miguel Corporation.
Interested players who want to join the D-League should be within 17-26 years old. They can come in either as collegiate or freelance players.
Salud added that foreign-bred players are also welcome to join the project. However, he said these cagers should have at least 2 years of experience before they can join the PBA Draft. – With reports from

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