BLACKWATER, NLEX, and possibly one more PBA team are being lined up to represent the country in this year’s Asia League in Macau.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said the Elite and Road Warriors are set to compete in the tournament anew, while he’s not discounting as well the possible entry of one of the ballclubs from the San Miguel group of companies.
“Tinitingnan natin yan,” said Marcial of a third Filipino team seeing action in the league’s ‘Terrific 12’ tournament. “Depende pa. Four months pa naman yan.”
The league is a pre-season tournament sanctioned by FIBA and is regularly set in September featuring top Asian basketball teams from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), BLeague (Japan), Korean Basketball League (KBL), Super Basketball League (Chinese Taipei), the PBA, and the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
Blackwater and NLEX saw action in the other tournament of the league – Summer Super 8 - last year as they prepare for the PBA Governors Cup.
The Elite failed to advance past the group stage, while the Road Warriors reached the semifinals and finished in fourth place.
Marcial said both teams have already expressed strong interest of joining the tournament anew.
Asia League CEO Matt Beyer will be in the country on Wednesday to further explore talks with the PBA and at the same time, watch Game 4 of the Philippine Cup finals between San Miguel and Magnolia.
At the same time, Marcial also said the league is considering the option of joining the FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
The Meralco Bolts represented the country in the meet last season, where it settled for fourth place after losing to Seoul SK Knights. The Bolts lost to eventual champion Petrochimi Bandar Imam of Iran in the semis.
Both Asian tournaments will be held in September shortly after the FIBA World Cup in China.