IN the wake of the approval of Blackwater Sports’ membership application in the PBA, the Asean Basketball League (ABL) is now knocking on the door of another company in hopes of bringing a Philippine team to the regional league.
A person with knowledge of the situation told Spin.ph that the ABL is now in the initial stages of negotiations with shipping company LBC on the possibility of joining the Southeast Asian cage league for the 2014 season.
The source said the ABL will be offering to LBC the same concessions it had offered to Blackwater Sports, specifically the free franchise fee clause.
“LBC is perfect for the ABL because it has a strong OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) presence (in Southeast Asia),” said the source.
The shift came after the PBA accepted Blackwater Sports as one of the three expansion teams that will be joining the Asia’s first professional basketball league, bringing the number of teams to a record 13.
The ABL had invited Blackwater Sports to join the regional league in its search for a Philippine team. Blackwater Sports team owner Dioceldo Sy earlier said the ABL could be an option if their application will not be approved, adding he planned bring the games to the provinces.
The ABL has been searching for a team from the Philippines, hands-down the biggest basketball market in the region, after the San Miguel Beermen declined to join the league for the 2014 season.
LBC is no stranger to sports, having bankrolled the Ronda Pilipinas multi-stage cycling race and a continental cycling team.
Years ago, the shipping company was also active in basketball having formed the LBC-Batangas Blades in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association and the Philippine Basketball League.