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The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is now going global, according to a report by GMA News.

League chairman Ricky Vargas, who also serves as the TNT Tropang Giga governor, bared that the PBA has joined the policy board of the East Asia Super League (EASL) where it will work alongside other basketball leagues in the region.

The development came after a number of Filipino cagers flew to Japan to see action in the prestigious B.League.

"We will be sending a representative to be a board member of the EASL," Vargas said in the PSA Forum.

"The intention why we wanted to be there is that we can also have a stronger tie with the five leagues in the region. When we do have stronger ties there, we will be able to see to it that we respect each other’s league in terms of movements of players."

Eight Pinoy cagers are currently suiting up as Asian imports in B. League with brothers Thirdy (San-en) and Kiefer Ravena (Shiga) leading the list. Also joining them in Division 1 are Dwight Ramos (Toyama), Kobe Paras (Niigata), Ray Parks (Nagoya), and Javi Gomez de Liaño (Ibaraki).

Another Filipino player, Matthew Aquino (Shinshu), is playing as a local due to Japanese nationality.

Strutting their stuff in B2, meanwhile, are Juan Gomez de Liaño (Tokyo) and Kemark Cariño (Aomori).

With the inking of partnership with EASL, the PBA could create deeper relationships with leagues in Japan (B. League), South Korea (Korean Basketball League), Chinese Taipei (Super Basketball League), and China (Chinese Basketball League).

"Number two, the reason we joined is that we want to show that we're still the best professional league in Asia. And that PBA is alive and the PBA is competitive," Vargas said.

"Third, we also like to try to bring EASL games to the Philippines," he added.

PBA teams like NLEX and Blackwater have previously seen action in EASL, joining in the Super 8 tournament in 2018. Blackwater competed again in the Terrific 12 in 2019 where fellow PBA teams TNT and San Miguel also saw action.

"Fourth, it's also a revenue-generating proposition for PBA. It's the beginning of going global," Vargas said.

The formal launch of the partnership between EASL and the PBA will be announced on a later date.


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