THE National Basketball League (NBL) will launch women’s and youth tournaments that will coincide with the second season of the men’s competition that will start on March 9 at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.
NBL chairman Celso Mercado said during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum that the league will hold the WNBL for female players aged 20 to 40.
“We are planning to have NBL Youth 17-under and 12-under divisions aside from the women’s tournament na kasabay ng NBL men’s this coming March 9,” said Mercado, who was joined by head of basketball operations Edward Aquino in the PSA Forum held at the Tapa King Cubao Farmers.
WNBL is planning to have six to eight teams for its inaugural season, games of which will be held before the usual doubleheader in the men’s division.
Last season’s champion Parañaque Aces will face the Dasmariñas Ballers in a rematch of the finals, while the Laguna Pistons take on the Taguig Generals in the March 9 NBL opener.
NBL hopes to have 12 to 14 teams for its second season.
The Aces captured the inaugural title, sweeping the Ballers in the best-of-three championship series.
The league will maintain its rule that only homegrown talents aged 18 to 29 years old from their locality will compose the roster of each teams.
Other plans include the creation of a 30-above league for NBL talents and forming a PBA D-League team composed of the top stars of the NBL.
“This will be an investment from NBL na magbubuo ng team sa PBA D-League,” said Mercado.