Lucky 13? KIA, Blackwater, NLEX want to join PBA
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) expansion plans kicked into high gear after three companies expressed their intent in joining the league.
“The PBA Ofc. of the Comm. [Chito Salud] as of yesterday has received 3 letters of intent to join the league next season as expansion teams/new franchises,” the league said in a statement.
The PBA said that the three possible expansion teams include KIA of the Columbian Autocar Corp.; Blackwater Sports of Ever Bilena Cosmetics Inc.; and NLEX of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
Once their applications are approved, the three teams will join the 10 teams currently competing in the PBA: San Mig Coffee, Rain or Shine, Meralco Bolts, Global Port, Alaska, Barako Bull, Barangay Ginebra, Talk 'N Text, San Miguel Beermen and Air21.
Meralco board representative Ramon Segismundo earlier said that the league's expansion program is one of the top priorities under his term as PBA chairman of the board.
Segismundo said they have been convincing several companies to join the PBA given the recent spike in the league’s popularity.
He said the expansion will not only benefit the incoming teams but the league as a whole, noting that the PBA has a surplus of players who are looking for teams to play for.
“Taon-taon maraming players ang nawawala. Pero if you look at them, pwedeng-pwede pa sila. So kung madadagdagan tayo, makakatulong rin tayo sa livelihood ng maraming pamilya,” Segismundo said.