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    PBA forging deeper ties with Japan, Korea leagues; partners with EASL

    Nov 9, 2021

    AMID the exodus of Filipino players abroad, the PBA said it is forging stronger ties with its counterparts in Asia particularly leagues in Japan and Korea.

    PBA commissioner Willie Marcial revealed he has received an invitation from the B.League to attend the All-Star Game to be held from January 14 to 15 in Okinawa, just the latest overture from the Japan pro league.

    Marcial also said the Korean Basketball League has also reached out recently for a meeting with the PBA, which has sealed a partnership with the East Asia Basketball League (EASL) that will be formally announced next month.

    “Ang KBL commissioner, sumulat at gusto makipag-meeting sa atin. Ang Japan B.League, may All-Star [Game], iniimbita ako na pumunta sa Japan,” said Marcial during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association [PSA] Forum.

    Marcial sees the recent developments as a step in the right direction for cooperation among the leagues in Eastern Asia.

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    “Nakikita niyo na na may usapan na ang mga iba’t-ibang liga. Gusto tayong kausapin ng Korea, inimbita tayo ng Japan league. Simula na na maging maayos ang samahan natin dito sa Asia,” said Marcial.

    The development comes after several Filipinos including PBA players Kiefer Ravena and Ray Parks choose to play in the Japan B.League, creating tension since Ravena has a live contract with NLEX before joining the Shiga Lakestars.

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    Ravena was eventually released by NLEX and the PBA.

    PBA chairman Ricky Vargas said the deeper ties will forge harmony among the Asian leagues.

    “When we do have stronger ties, we will be able to see to it that we respect each other’s rights in terms of movement of players," said the TNT board representative. "We will have better cooperation."

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