The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), renowned as the top and most prestigious professional basketball league in the country, is once again on the brink of expansion. On Tuesday, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial revealed that the league is engaged in discussions with two interested parties, indicating the possibility of adding new teams to the roster of this historic basketball association.
Over the years, the PBA has consistently attracted the attention of various companies eager to become part of Asia’s pioneering basketball league. Marcial’s disclosure during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum shed light on the ongoing negotiations, though he remained cautious in withholding the names of the parties involved.
The PBA currently consists of 12 clubs, with the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup set to feature 13 teams due to the participation of the Bay Area Dragons as a guest team. The league has come a long way since its inception 48 years ago, with teams such as San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra, Magnolia, and others becoming household names among basketball enthusiasts.
The league’s growth trajectory has prompted discussions about expanding the number of participating teams to further intensify competition and fan engagement. Commissioner Marcial expressed openness to the idea, stating that the league could potentially accommodate up to 14 to 16 teams, depending on broadcast schedules and television airings.
One of the critical factors to consider in this expansion plan is the availability of airtime for broadcasting the games. Currently, the PBA’s games are televised on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with two games showcased on each of those days. The league’s desire to increase the number of teams is closely tied to ensuring an adequate number of game broadcasts per week, allowing fans to enjoy a more comprehensive coverage of matches.
The potential addition of new teams comes after several rounds of expansion in recent years. In 2014, the PBA welcomed Blackwater and Terrafirma (formerly KIA) as its newest members, marking a milestone in the league’s history. Notably, NLEX also entered the league that year through the acquisition of the Air 21 franchise.
More recently, the Converge franchise made its debut in the PBA by acquiring the franchise of the Alaska Aces in 2022, showcasing the league’s willingness to embrace new teams and further enrich its competitive landscape.
As the league inches closer to its new season kickoff on October 15 at the Araneta Coliseum, basketball enthusiasts and fans of the PBA eagerly await updates on the potential addition of new teams. The PBA’s legacy as a premier basketball organization remains steadfast, and the prospect of expanding its reach through the inclusion of fresh faces brings excitement and anticipation to the basketball community.