PLANS are in place for a first-ever PBA doubleheader in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA) and the Blackwater franchise owned by Dioceldo Sy are now exploring such possibility in an effort to further strengthen the ties between both parties following the recent appointment of the league board of governor as consultant and adviser of the Malaysia men’s basketball team.
If everything falls into place, the breakthrough games in the Malaysia capital could be held as early as the season-ending Governors Cup.
The league held its last out-of-the country games in Dubai during the 2015 Philippine Cup that featured Barangay Ginebra, Alaska, and Mahindra. Previously, it held official games in countries such as Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Guam.
The Kings are again being eyed to banner the KL sojourn along with Blackwater and Phoenix, according to Sy.
“Marami ring namang mga Pilipino sa Malaysia, where basketball is also popular,” said Sy, who is currently on a business trip in Vancouver.
“Siyempre, it would be good na Ginebra ang lead team. And then Blackwater at tsaka Phoenix because of coach Ariel (Vanguardia),” said the Blackwater owner.
Prior to accepting the Phoenix coaching job, Vanguardia steered the Westports Malaysia Dragons to their first ever Asean Basketball League (ABL) title last year.
The planned twinbill will also feature the Malaysia men’s team playing the Elite and Fuel Masters in a pair of tune-up games that will serve as curtain raiser to the main match.
“It would also a way to attract Malaysians to watch the games by having their national team as part of the doubleheader. At the same time, it’s also our way of fostering our basketball relationship with MABA,” added Sy, whose firm is sponsoring the participation of the Malaysian juniors basketball team in the PBA D-League, carrying the banner of Blue Star.
Funds permitteng, Sy said the games are likely to be beamed live straight from KL to the Philippines.
“It would entail a big financial cost, pero maganda siyempre na live ipapalabas yung games,” said the long-time basketball patron.
Just two months ago, MABA officials led by president Datu Lua Choon Hann were in town and handed out a plaque of appreciation to the PBA, Blackwater, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) for their valuable support in helping develop basketball in Malaysia.