Philippines, Sports, television

More Hoops: The NBL Philippines on BTV and Solar Sports

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.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

ABS-CBN to Air NBA Finals Game 7 Live

Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals will indeed air LIVE on ABS-CBN Channel 2, preempting ‘Magandang Buhay’ and the premiere of ‘Kuroko’s Basketball’ season 3. (Promotional photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

ABS-CBN is finally doing something right for once.

Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, according to ABS-CBN, will be aired LIVE. But since the game will be held on a Sunday in the United States (Monday in the Philippines), the game time will be at 8:00 a.m. Manila time, an hour earlier than usual.

Circumstances like this warrant a delayed telecast because of the presence of ‘Magandang Buhay’. But with Game 7 of the NBA Finals obviously the most important game of the season, ABS-CBN finally decided to give in to the viewers’ demands.

Thus, ‘Magandang Buhay’, along with the premiere of ‘Kuroko’s Basketball’ season 3, will be preempted for today, and the NBA Finals will air LIVE on Channel 2. It will still be called in-studio by Boom Gonzalez, Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras, among others, alongside TJ Manotoc on location in Oakland, California.

Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV will also simulcast Game 7 of the Finals with English commentary via ABC in the United States. There will also be a live viewing party at the NBA Cafe in SM Aura, Taguig.

The 2016 NBA Finals pits the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, and the Golden State Warriors, led by Stephen Curry. The Warriors seek to win back-to-back titles and validate their record-breaking 73-win season, while the Cavaliers look to end a 52-year title drought for Cleveland with their first championship.

The Warriors initially led the NBA Finals 3-1. But thanks to a pair of 40-point games by LeBron James, the Cavaliers were able to force a Game 7, and will now try to become the first team in NBA history to win the championship after trailing 3-1.

Replay of Game 7 will be later tonight at 10:30 p.m. on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, with another replay to be aired on an undetermined time tomorrow morning. Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV will re-air Game 7 at 7:00 p.m.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

UFL Unveils New TV Schedule

UFL matches will now be seen from Tuesdays to Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on AksyonTV.

After a brief break in the action due to the Philippine Azkals’ participation in the 2014 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup, the United Football League resumes Division I action tonight at Taguig’s Emperador Stadium. However, the league will now have a new TV schedule thanks to a new agreement between the UFL and Sports5.

Under the new schedule, UFL games will now be seen from Tuesday to Friday at 8:00 p.m. on AksyonTV. However, only the second Tuesday and Thursday matches will be seen live, while the opening matches on those days will be seen on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. Saturday fixtures will remain non-televised.

The new UFL broadcast deal came after the league and AksyonTV were criticized for prioritizing the UFL broadcasts over the Philippine Basketball Association. During the Philippine Cup quarterfinals, the first game of Tuesday doubleheaders were not aired live due to the UFL matches, forcing irate basketball fans to vent their anger on social media.

As a result, Sports5 was forced to prioritize the 5:30 p.m. broadcasts of PBA games on AksyonTV, beginning with the Commissioner’s Cup. However, this also led to late-night telecasts of UFL games, with some of them airing at 10:00 p.m. or later.

UFL President Randy Roxas believes that by promoting the UFL games into a ‘nighttime habit’, they hope that the league’s fanbase will grow. And the UFL’s new schedule should benefit football fans coming from work, since the 5:00 p.m. matches may pose a problem to their hectic schedules.

The UFL, a young and promising football league, has a long way to go in terms of quality and popularity. A four-day weekly broadcast over AksyonTV should help matters.

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Philippines, Sports, television

PBA Games Today on AksyonTV

Sports5‘s job of covering the PBA games just got tougher. Having adjusted to a new broadcast setup, the network announced that the special Thursday doubleheader will only be aired live on AksyonTV, with replays on TV5 later tonight and on Friday afternoon.

The first game will feature the Alaska Aces and the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters at 5:30 p.m., followed by the much-anticipated matchup between the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Globalport Batang Pier at 8:00 p.m. Both games will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The two games were supposed to be played on the normal Friday playdate. But due to the lack of an available venue for tomorrow, the PBA had no choice but to move the doubleheader to Thursday. Unfortunately this is also the day where TV5 teleseryes ‘Positive’ and ‘For Love or Money’ normally air, and with no available options, Sports5 decided to air the games only on AksyonTV. In addition today’s live games will also be streamed through the internet at http://www.interaktv.ph.

In relation to today’s PBA games on AksyonTV, the scheduled United Football League Cup quarterfinal doubleheaders were moved to IBC-13. The two games in Taguig‘s Emperador Stadium will feature Philippine Air Force FC facing against Union Internacional Manila, and Stallion FC versus Pachanga Diliman. This will be the second sports event covered by IBC-13 in cooperation with another broadcast partner since the end of the AKTV era; they aired a replay of the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight last Sunday with Solar Sports. The temporary move to Thursday was another highly-criticized move that has affected Sports5’s broadcast relationship with the PBA.

Last season the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned network and the league had an argument over channel assignments after the expiration of Sports5’s blocktime rights with IBC-13. Then two weeks into the new season the network aired only a handful of live games on TV5 because of its loaded primetime lineup, an adjustment made out of necessity.

But in an era of growing cable and internet subscription, Sports5’s moves were needed to push the PBA coverage to a new level. And the PBA allowed this arrangement so that they can be flexible with TV5’s current schedule, even as viewers continue to complain over the new arrangement.

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