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Amateur league Filbasket ‘a product of necessity’, says Jai Reyes

A brand-new amateur basketball league that is ‘a product of necessity’ will soon come off the wraps.

“We have been planning this for a long time,” said former Ateneo Blue Eagle Jai Reyes of the soon-to-open Filbasket.

It’s a basketball league that will cater to commercial, corporate or regional teams, and aims to provide jobs to those affected by the pandemic.

“We are doing this for the basketball industry,” Reyes told Tuesday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum that was also graced by respected basketball figure Buddy Encarnado.

“The athletes are out of jobs, needing to provide for their families. Even myself, I felt how quickly our jobs were taken away from us,” said Reyes, whose group is now working on government clearance.

Filbasket is all set to take off with 11 teams, including those from Davao, Basilan, San Juan, and Pasig. There are teams with corporate roots as well.

“There are no restrictions whether it’s LGU (local government unit) or corporate. We want to be inclusive and open to as many teams,” Reyes told the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and powered by Smart with Upstream Media as webcast partner.

In the future, Filbasket may also open the doors to Asian imports or international teams. The bottomline, according to Reyes, is to provide jobs for those in need, from players, referees, coaches, trainers, and staff.

“Basically, right now we are a product of necessity. The players are out of jobs. I know the plight of the players and I see players going online to sell daing (dried fish) or hotdogs,” said the former PBA team manager.

“They want to provide for their families.”

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