A brand new basketball league called Filbasket is slated to tip off in October under a bubble setup at the Splendido Taal Country Club in Batangas.
The league, which is founded by former Ateneo Blue Eagles star Jai Reyes, will have 11 teams competing, including the reigning champions from the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Davao Occidental Tigers, and the core of the squad that recently won the national title in the Pilipinas Vismin Super Cup, the Basilan Peace Riders.
“We have been planning this for a long time,” said Reyes during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
“We are doing this for the basketball industry,” added Reyes of the league that seeks to provide job opportunities for those in the basketball scene, whether it’s players, coaches, referees and other basketball personnel.
“The athletes are out of jobs, needing to provide for their families. Even myself, I felt how quickly our jobs were taken away from us,” said Reyes, whose group is now working on government clearance.
“There are no restrictions whether it’s LGU (local government unit) or corporate. We want to be inclusive and open to as many teams,” Reyes shared.
Also competing in Filbasket are the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, San Juan Knights - Go for Gold, Muntinlupa Defenders, 7A – Primus, Burlington - EOG Sports, which is being coached by Cebuano Britt Reroma, FSD - Makati Army, led by Cebuano forward Jan Colina, and MJAS Zenith, which recently added former Cesafi MVP Shaquille Imperial.
Also in Filbasket are M Trans Buracai De Laiya Batangas City, a team from Nueva Ecija, and a team from Basilan.
“Basically, right now we are a product of necessity. The players are out of jobs. I know the plight of the players and I see players going online to sell daing (dried fish) or hotdogs. They want to provide for their families,” Reyes said. (JNP)