With the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) out and about since last year, several young basketball talents found themselves without a home to hone their skills en route to entering a professional league.
Worst part is the PBL isn’t even showing any signs of re-emerging anytime soon.
And so the PBA finds itself on a struggle to find eligible and worthy players with no pool of prospects to work on.
The PBL has been a regular staple in providing the Philippine Basketball Association plenty of developing talents-turned-stars: James Yap, Asi Taulava, and Enrico Villanueva, just to name a few.
In comes the PBA D-League. It is aimed at doing what the PBL has done for them all these years: discovering up-and-coming cagers and helping them grind their talents to gain experience before entering the major leagues.
“The PBA is mandated to be involved in the development of Philippine basketball and to encourage greater participation in the game by opening new areas of competition, hence the D-league,” says PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, as reported by Yahoo Philippines.
The PBA Developmental League will have an 8-team tourney that will run for three months, with teams consisting of players not going out of the age limit of 17 to 26 years old.
With this in tow, high school and college prospects are expected to comprise the majority of the league.
We say they have plenty of time. Players are not eligible to be drafted by the PBA until they are 23 years old. Fil-foreign players will also be required to enter the D-League for 2 years before becoming eligible to apply for the PBA.
“We have to make sure there’s an intermediate league between college and pros. The D-league will take that place,” adds Salud. The PBA D-League is expected to kick off this March and will end just in time for the start of new seasons for collegiate leagues UAAP and NCAA.
So here’s to bringing back the PBL spirit of old, providing us plenty of future MVPs of the sport. And if the popular NBA D-League is any indication, the PBA just made a very awesome basketball venture here.