PBA's Marcial set for meetings with KBL, B.League execs

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2022 07:40 PM

PBA Images 
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. PBA Images 

MANILA, Philippines -- PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial will meet with his counterparts from Japan and Korea's professional basketball leagues, with the transfer of both technology and talent on the agenda.

Marcial formally met with KBL commissioner Kim Hee Ok and B. League chairman Shinji Shimada on Tuesday ahead of the official draw of the East Asia Super League, where the two best teams in each league will face off starting October.

Also present at the Advisory Board meeting early Tuesday was Alfrancis Chua, the team governor of Barangay Ginebra, who is serving as the PBA's representative to the board.

But Marcial revealed that he is in line for more talks with Kim on Tuesday night, and that he will visit Japan in September for further discussions with B.League officials.

"Ang Korea, makikipag-meeting sa atin mamayang 7:30, 'yung KBL," Marcial said after the draw, held at Shangri-La at The Fort.

"At ayun nga, pupunta ako sa Japan sa September. Doon kami magfa-finalize," he also said.

Marcial plans to inquire about the technical details of both leagues, including how they deal with officiating.

"Sa atin, technology," he said when asked about their agenda. "Paano sila nagko-cover sa officiating, paano ano nila sa referees."

But the most pressing issue will likely still be the transfer of players among leagues. Japan's B.League has emerged as a destination for Filipino players in the past couple of years, with at least two PBA players -- Kiefer Ravena and Ray Parks -- signing with B.League teams. 

The KBL, meanwhile, has also extended its Asian Quota Program to Filipino players. Earlier this month, they signed Ateneo's SJ Belangel and Far Eastern University's RJ Abarrientos as their first Filipino imports.

"Malamang pag-uusapan 'yun," said Marcial. "Maganda na 'yun nga, kung paano. Tingnan natin, kasi two months ago, nag-uusap na kami ng Japan at ng Korea kung paano."

Marcial said that the PBA is open to all possibilities at this point, including welcoming Asian imports into the league once again. The PBA was the first league to hire other Asian players, doing so in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Governors' Cup. 

Among the notable Asian players who suited up in the PBA were Syria's Michael Madanly and Jordan's Sam Daghles, both mainstays of their respective national teams.

"Anytime naman pwede sa atin ang Asian imports eh. Gusto din nila, 'yun din ang sinasabi sa atin ng KBL, na exchange, magkaroon ng exchanges ng players," said Marcial.

"Sabi ko, sige, tingnan natin kung paano at paano din sa mga teams. Open tayo sa lahat," he stressed.