THE Asean Basketball League (ABL) has announced that it is set to open shop in July next year as it finally addressed the uncertainty of whether a new season will be held at all.
In a short statement posted on its website, the league said it is opening in the middle of the year to, among other reasons, "allow incoming teams to prepare for the 2014 season."
Spin.ph has reported as early as September that reigning ABL champion San Miguel Beer no longer intends to field a team in the league next season.
“A start in July will allow the ABL to better identify, confirm, and prepare incoming teams for competition,” said ABL chief operating officer Ridi Djajakusuma.
The ABL also explained the schedule switch will allow the regional league to avoid clashing with other basketball events like the 2015 Southeast Asian Games which is set in early June.
“Additionally, we would like to avoid conflict with planned major events like SEA Games in 2015, which will be held in Singapore in early June,” the statement read.
The league also hinted about possible new teams for the 2014 season in its statement, saying that details will be made available once confirmed.
ABL chief executive officer Anthony Macri declined to comment on which teams the league expects to come in when reached by Spin.ph.
The looming departure of San Miguel has thrown the league into uncertainty, especially after it failed to calendar a new season beginning in January like in past years.
Although there has been no official announcement of a pullout, San Miguel Beer has already released most of the top players in its roster like Asi Taulava, Erik Menk, Chris Banchero, and Leo Avenido.
Sources said the league is still looking for a new team from the biggest basketball market in the region to replace San Miguel.