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    ABL season left hanging as league looks for new Philippine team with impending SMB exit

    Dec 7, 2013

    THE ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season has been left hanging as the regional league looks for a new Philippine entry with the impending exit of San Miguel Beermen, according to sources who asked not to be named.

    Although there has been no official word on the status of the Beermen in the league, the ABL, sources said, is taking steps to make sure there is a Philippine team in the lineup before proceeding with its new season.

    The league, the sources added, is even willing to push back the opening of the new season to accommodate the Philippine squad. The 2013 ABL season opened in January.

    The search for a new team is necessary since the Philippines is an important market for the league, being the only country in the region where basketball is the most popular sport.

    Aside from that, the league draws thousands of overseas-based Filipinos to its games.

    As early as September, has already reported that San Miguel is no longer keen to maintain its ABL ballclub after winning its maiden championship with a team led by Asi Taulava and Chris Banchero.

    Sources said a decision by the ABL to impose a 'membership fee' amounting to around P13 million which ties down member teams to the regional league for four years that hastened San Miguel's departure.

    [For full story, see Major setback for ABL as champions San Miguel Beermen on the way out]

    Continue reading below ↓
     Since winning the championship, San Miguel has allowed most its players to hook up with other ballclubs, with Taulava now with Air21, Banchero with D-League side Boracay Rum, and Leo Avenido with Alaska.
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