AS the PBA enters its 40th season on October 19, PBA chairman Patrick 'Pato' Gregorio said the pro league’s expansion plan includes penetrating the Asian market like South Korea, where an estimated 300,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are based.
Gregorio explained the advent of the social media age and the rising popularity of Korean pop culture in the Philippines should be enough reason for the PBA to explore the possibility of forging long-term deals with their Korean counterparts.
“Why not (enter into partnership with South Korea)? That should be the vision of the PBA as we move to the PBA at 50. No harm in pursuing that dream,” Gregorio said shortly after the PBA’s press launch for its 40th season on Tuesday at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel in Mandaluyong.
“Let’s take advantage of the development of the communities around us. You have great Asian players. You have brands conquering other countries and you have very cheap airfare etc, sakyan lang natin iyan,” added the Gregorio, who also serves as the senior vice president of Maynilad.
Part of the PBA’s initial plan for the 'invasion' of South Korea is playing a regular season game in the the Korean capital of Seoul sometime this season.
But for the initial talks with their Korean counterparts to progress, Gregorio, who also serves as Talk ‘N Text board governor, explained that this will first require the all-out support of the 12 PBA member-teams since they will be the ones pooling the resources in the pro league.
“I’m confident that if the PBA moves in that direction, we can expect a bigger PBA. Dahan-dahan lang. Huwag nating madaliin para we can make adjustements all the way,” he said.
“We can navigate this slowly with the support of the sponsors and the support of the team owners because they are the ones selling their brands and that’s the reason they are there, to push their brands,” said Gregorio.