MANILA, Philippines -- The Pilipinas Super League (PSL), the newest regional basketball league in the country, will open its inaugural conference on March 18.
League founder Rocky Chan and commissioner Marc Pingris made the announcement Tuesday at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
The PSL will be a professional league, with at least 11 teams already confirmed to compete. According to Chan, a 12th team is finalizing its commitment.
"Currently, based on the teams that have shown interest, there are around 11. I can name a few like El Nido Palawan, we have a team. Tapos Cagayan Valley, Bicol, Lapu-Lapu and Cebu. We also have a team sa Mindanao, we have Davao Occidental, Cagayan de Oro, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, Pagadian City. We also have a team in Zamboanga del Sur, municipality of Roxas in Zamboanga del Norte. Hopefully we will have also Basilan," said Chan.
"We're gonna lock in sa 12 teams for this conference. So 12 lang, may mga humahabol pa. We're just awaiting within the week 'yung final confirmation ng 12th team na sasali sa atin," he added.
They plan to hold a one-month long conference in a bubble in Zamboanga del Norte, with the opening ceremonies to take place in Dipolog before the rest of the games are held in the municipality of Roxas.
Teams will battle in a single round robin elimination, before eight teams advance to the quarterfinals.
Because the league wants to highlight homegrown and regional players, Chan said they are implementing a "2-2-1" rule, where teams are required to have two reinforcements, two regional players, and one local player on the floor every time.
"Talagang mapagbibigyan 'yung local talent in the countryside," said Chan.
The PSL plans to have three conferences per season. After playing the first conference in Mindanao, Chan hopes they can hold the second conference in Visayas, and the third in Luzon.
The PSL is the latest basketball league to be established in the country, joining the ranks of the PBA, the MPBL, the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, and the NBL-Pilipinas as professional competitions.
Chan, who was previously involved with the VisMin Super Cup, sees plenty of space in the local basketball landscape for their organization.
"Alam naman natin, there's a lot of regional basketball leagues right now. Pero alam natin, ang players, 'di ba, hindi enough ang dalawa, tatlong liga para mabigyan ng opportunity, lalo na dito sa mga countryside, sa mga kasuluk-sulukan, like in Mindanao, in Visayas, and far north sa Luzon areas," he said.
"Wala tayong inayawan dito, lahat mapagbigyan natin, kasi alam naman natin, with this pandemic, kailangan magkaroon din ng hanap-buhay ang lahat," he also stressed.