National Basketball League opens opportunities for homegrown talents
MANILA, Philippines – New league alert!
The National Basketball League (NBL), the country's newest regional amateur basketball league, is set to launch in August.
This league puts an emphasis on its eligibility rules, enforcing a strict screening committee that will allow only Under-29 homegrown players from each region to participate.
While it may be closely associated with Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL)'s regional format, the NBL does not intend to compete with Manny Pacquiao's league nor the PBA.
Instead, the NBL aims to complement the two leagues by adding to the growth of the Philippine basketball community.
"The supply is there, we're just filling up the demand," said NBL chairman Celso Mercado.
Mercado, together with NBL commissioner Nandy Garcia and vice president of Basketball Operation Edward Aquino, started the league in order to give aspiring professional players a break after years of seeing almost half of the annual PBA draft applicants go undrafted.
The league targets to start with 6 teams on August 25, 2018, and the games will be played in a home and away format on Saturdays and Sundays.
The NBL will also lead the creation of the country's semi-professional league for women under the age of 40, and a grassrooots tournament for both girls and boys that will act as the league's main pipeline for players.
In the long run, the NBL hopes to provide international exposure to its homegrown players by partnering with the NBL of other countries such as China and Australia. – Rappler.com
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