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PBA on partnership with EASL: ‘It’s the beginning of going global’

Forging stronger ties with its Asian counterparts is the main reason why the PBA decided to become part of the East Asia Super League (EASL).

A formal announcement regarding the partnership will be made next month but league chairman Ricky Vargas happily shared as much during a guest appearance in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Tuesday.

“The intention why we want to be there [is] that we can also have stronger ties with the four or five leagues in the region,” he said.

The development couldn’t have come at a better time for Asia’s first pro league, who’s doing its best to adapt to the times amidst the exodus of Filipino talents due to the opportunities presented by the other cage entities in the region.

Players from the PBA are part of that wave particularly Kiefer Ravena and Ray Parks, both of whom have been starring in the B.League.

2021-22-B.League-Season-Shiga-Kiefer-Ravena PBA on partnership with EASL: 'It's the beginning of going global' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Then there’s also the likes of supposed-to-be PBA 3×3 star Jason Brickman and Gilas draftee Jordan Heading, who are two of the three Filipinos that have decided to take their talents to the newly-found T1 in Taiwan.2021-22-T1-Season-Taichung-Suns-Jordan-Heading-2 PBA on partnership with EASL: 'It's the beginning of going global' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Vargas said that the league joining the EASL would improve their connection with its fellow leagues such as the aforementioned ones, as well as the Korean Basketball League, who’s also opened up its Asian Player Quota rule.

“When we do have stronger ties, then we will be able to see to it that we respect each other’s rights in terms of movements of players,” said Vargas, also the governor of TNT Tropang Giga. “So we will have better coordination.”

But based on what Commissioner Willie Marcial said, it looks like the leagues won’t struggle in finding harmony. The league chieftain disclosed that the KBL which is headed by president Kim Hee Ok had actually reached out to him seeking a meeting.

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The B.League through its chairman Shinji Shimada had also extended an invitation to him, he added, hoping that he could come over and watch their All-Star festivities in January in Okinawa, where the Filipino imports will be very much involved.

“Ang KBL, Korean Basketball League, ang commissioner, sumulat sa’tin na gusto makipag-meeting sa atin. Ang Japan B.LEAGUE, may All-Star, iniimbita ako na pumunta sa Japan,” he shared.

Another reason why the PBA joined the EASL, according to Vargas, is to prove the Filipino pro league is still the best in the region.

“It’s the beginning of going global,” he said. “So, pinagusapan namin lahat ‘yan sa board.

“And we thought it’s time to open up, join our brothers in Asia, work with them, play with them, and show them what the Filipino has.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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