The much-awaited regional tournament CountryWide Basketball League (CWBL) is in peril.
Sources told Spin.ph that most of the team owners who had previously committed to join the regional league backed by television giant ABS-CBN, have already pulled out their seed money.
“Umalis na kami. Ang gulo nila kausap eh,” said one team owner who requested anonymity.
“As early as late 2013, pinaplano na yan (CWBL). Pero up to now, walang concrete plan kung paano ilulunsad ang liga. August 2015 na? Lahat ng teams, naging impatient na rin,” added another team official.
Initially set for launch in November 2014, the CWBL has for a number of times cancelled its targeted launch, with the last one pegged last June.
The repeated postponements have troubled team owners who have been maintaining teams for games that have yet to be played, another team official said.
“Lagi cancelled ang games eh. Noong January sabi nila April meron na. Na-postpone na naman to June. Hintay kami ng hintay eh. Naka commit kami sa management namin at players, wala namang ligang sinasalihan,” said one team official.
“Sumusuweldo na mga players namin, wala naman kaming ligang nilalaruan. May iba nga, May 2014 pa lang may teams na,” he said.
“May mga teams na kami. Ano ang gagawin namin sa mga players namin?”
Other team officials complained that even the membership fee and the number of participating teams have proven erratic.
Among the teams that had committed to join the CWBL are Laguna, Racal Motors-Bulacan, Jumbo Plastics and Lenoleum-Taytay, Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, EuroMed-Rizal and Sta. Lucia Realty-Pasig.
Most of those teams are now affiliated with newly formed Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League, which is set to open on September 19.
Sought for comment, Lipa assured basketball fans that the CWBL management, through commissioner Atty Boy De Ora, is just finalizing details of the tournament prior to its February launch.
The league has also recently signed a deal with ABS-CBN for the television coverage of the games.
“Tuloy 'yan, sinisiguro ko sa yo. February 2016 ang target,” said Lipa, a legendary national team coach.
Asked about the pullout of some teams which are now affiliated with the PCBL, Lipa didn't sound worried.
“Wala namang magagawa kung sumali sila sa ibang liga, may mga ibang teams naman ang sumasali pa (sa amin),” he said.