PBA open for expansion, can add four more teams

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial has stated that the professional league is open to expansion, adding that it can fit up to four more teams so long as its TV partner can handle the additional load of games.

Marcial believes that the league can have as many as 16 teams, though this would necessitate an increase in the league’s schedule of games in order to give each ballclub the necessary exposure.

The league currently schedules games on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with Saturdays reserved for provincial/out-of-town games.

Marcial said the league’s TV partner would need to agree to air the extra games for a 16-team league to materialize.

“Puwede tayong mag-14, 16 [teams] basta um-okay ang television na hindi lang three times a week. Kapag okay ang television, kahit 16 [teams], kakayanin,” said Marcial during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

For the past 8 years, the PBA has featured 12 teams, with the addition of KIA (now Terrafirma) and Blackwater in 2014. Neither expansion team, however, has advanced to the championship round.

Marcial claimed that there is no shortage of potential members, citing two companies that have recently made contact with league officials.

“Lagi naman (may interest) kahit nung panahon pa nila Comm. Noli (Eala), Sonny (Barrios), Comm. Chito (Salud). Meron talagang lumalapit sa atin. May dalawang seryoso pero hindi ko alam kung tutuloy na dere-derecho kaya ayoko rin banggitin kung sino sila. May nakikipag-usap. Pero lagi namang ganun,” said Marcial.

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