Another new Filipino basketball league has surfaced.
Last weekend the National Basketball League (NBL) played its first-ever games in Taguig City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where they were played to sellout crowds. The league has 10 teams in all, each based on either a province, a city or a municipality.
But before making any comparisons to another regional-based basketball league in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League), the NBL runs its operations a little bit differently. While the MPBL welcomes former professional and collegiate stars to play in their league, the NBL wants no part of any of them.
Instead they focused on the homegrown and grassroots level, welcoming young players who grew up in their respective provinces, cities or municipalities. The purpose is to develop these players and create local basketball icons in the community.
As mentioned earlier, the NBL has 10 teams that currently play in their first season. They are:
- Bulacan Makabayan
- Camarines Sur Express
- Dasmariñas Monarchs
- Laguna Pistons
- Marikina Shoemakers
- Nueva Ecija Go Bespren
- Parañaque Aces
- Rizal Spartans
- Quezon City Rising Stars
- Taguig Generals
The NBL is the brainchild of chairman Soy Mercado and commissioner Nandy Garcia, who both envisioned a home-and-away league strictly for homegrown amateur players. The league’s games are currently aired on Solar Sports, Basketball TV and Net 25, and is also streamed live on the NBL-Philippines Facebook page.
Here is a look at the full elimination round schedule of the NBL.
In addition to a men’s homegrown amateur basketball league, the NBL organizers also plan on establishing a women’s counterpart that will begin in September. Considering that the Philippines does not have either an amateur or a professional women’s basketball league at the moment, the NBL will look to fill that void with its own women’s league.
Basketball fans can only hope that the NBL will bring some much-needed hope and inspiration to young ballers everywhere. Their role as a grassroots organization will be very crucial in establishing the next great hoops star.