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Marcial welcomes idea of adding teams in PBA

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial said the pro league welcomes the possibility of expanding the teams to as many as 16 as long as its TV partner can air the additional games.

Marcial made this comment after his recent guest appearance at the PSA Forum.

“We can have 14 to 16 (teams), as long as the television (partner) is okay to televise (games) not just three times a week,” Marcial said in the public sports forum on Tuesday.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial PBA IMAGE

Based on last season's schedule, the league's regular playdate falls on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The Saturday schedule is normally allocated for out of town games.

The PBA, which is kicking off Season 48 on October 15 with the Commissioner's Cup, last increased its member teams in 2014 after the board approved the entry of Blackwater and Kia (now Terrafirma).

Both teams though have yet to win a league championship.

Meanwhile, Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy said the idea of more expansion teams playing in the PBA is something he has mentioned to the league's higher ups in the past.

“From a team owner's perspective, I have been pushing for this,” Sy said, referring to expanding the membership in the pro league.

Sy noted that the PBA could actually broaden its base by encouraging big companies operating in Visayas or Mindanao to join the pro league.

“We can have two teams from Mindanao because of the new Quiboloy gym which is a 75,000-seater that should be ready next year. So that could be one from Davao and the other one from CDO (Cagayan de Oro), GenSan (General Santos) or Zamboanga,” said Sy.

The massive gym based in Davao will be known as the KJC King Dome, which is owned by Kingdom of Jesus Christ Filipino pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

Sy added that Visayas is also another good avenue for the PBA to thrive due to a basketball arena being constructed under the auspices of giant mall chain SM in Cebu while Iloilo or Bacolod are also good options.

Considering that Metro Manila is congested already in terms of basketball leagues, holding more PBA games out of town is the way to go, he said.

“This will start the home and away as the PBA is now a third class citizen at MOA (Mall of Asia Arena) and Araneta Coliseum. We can do a collaboration among PBA teams and any host city with a good arena,” he said Sy, referring to the fact that the PBA's home courts in Metro Manila are also used as venues for concerts and other sports events.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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