By JONAS TERRADO
The PBA has started to build ties with Asian counterparts apart from agreeing to take part in the East Asia Super League.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said he received an invitation from Japan’s B.League to attend its All-Star Game in Okinawa this January while the Korean Basketball League expressed its desire to hold talks in the future.
“Nakikita niyo na may usapan na ang mga iba’t-ibang liga na gusto tayo kausapin ng Korea at inimbita tayo ng Japanese league so simula na sana ng maging ayos ang samahan natin sa Asia.”
The opening of communication lines between the PBA and the two leagues comes amid the current trend that has seen Filipino cagers trying their luck overseas.
Nine Filipinos are currently playing for different teams in the B.League’s first and second divisions under the Asian Player Quota rule which was first implemented last year.
The KBL is also intent on expanding the same rule beginning in the 2022-23 season. Current rules only allow the signing of Japanese players after an agreement was forged with the B.League.
The PBA recently accepted the invitation of the EASL to take part in the latter’s plan to hold an annual competition featuring clubs from China, South Korea and Japan.
The EASL is slowly working on starting its inaugural season which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several PBA teams participated in pocket tournaments held by the EASL prior to the global crisis.
“Pinagusapan namin lahat yan sa board and we thought it’s time to open up, join our brothers in Asia, work with them, play with them, and show them what the Filipino has,” said PBA chairman Ricky Vargas of Philippine Cup champion TNT.
“So therefore, ang mangyayari dyan is, we will have more opportunities for our players to be able to show their wares overseas,” he added.