The PBA is keen on bringing the D-League back.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the plan is to restart the league’s developmental arm by July, over two years since it last took place.
“Tina-target natin ng first week ng July,” he said.
The D-League had a targeted June return initially. But officials pushed it back to give way for Season Two of the PBA 3×3, which opens in the same month.
“Gusto nila, patapusin muna ang 3×3,” said Marcial.
School-based teams are expected to join the 2022 D-League, since college leagues such as the UAAP and NCAA will both conclude in May.
The July return should serve the UAAP teams well since the league plans to open its Season 85 festivities by September.
The last D-League wars happened in 2020, with Marinerong Pilipino the lone commercial team. The rest of the field included school-based squads.
The Skippers shared leadership of the Aspirants Cup standings along with Builders Warehouse-UST and EcoOil-La Salle. They all sported 2-0 records.
Other teams were 2019 NCAA champions Wangs-Letran, Apex Fuel-San Sebastian, ADG Dong-Mapua, and Diliman College.
FamilyMart-Enderun, SeaOil-FEU, TIP, AMA Senior High, and Karate Kid-CEU completed the cast as a total of 12 teams saw action in the tourney.
That, until the PBA had to suspend all its activities by mid-March as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation was worsening.
The D-League would not return since the league could not accommodate it in its calendars, which it shortened due to the ongoing pandemic.
But now, there’s optimism that it will come back, especially after college basketball returned just last March following a two-year absence.