Asian executive says NBA ready to ‘work more closely’ with PBA and local hoops leagues
November 18, 2022 | 3:34 p.m.
MANILA, Philippines — The NBA has expressed a willingness to work with the PBA and other local hoops leagues to further boost basketball in the country.
During a media roundtable held at the NBA’s office in the Philippines in Taguig last Wednesday, NBA Asia General Manager Ramez Sheikh said similar things can apply in the Philippines like what the NBA did in Africa, where they recently created the Basketball African League (BAL). .
“[The BAL] launched during the pandemic. It is a great achievement for our BAL group to be able to do this. I think for the Philippines and Asia-Pacific, what I can say is that we are very supportive of local leagues here,” Sheikh said.
“If there is an opportunity to work more closely with the PBA, for example, or other Asia-Pacific leagues, the NBA is very open to that,” he continued.
In the region, leagues like the Japan B. League, Korean Basketball League, among others, have already joined forces with the PBA to form the East Asia Super League to bolster the sport in the continent.
Through close relationships with the various local leagues, Sheikh said, the NBA will be able to lend a hand in advancing the sport.
Sheikh, however, admitted that the pandemic has stalled any development in relations with the NBA and leagues in Asia.
But with the country hosting the FIBA World Cup 2023, along with Indonesia and Japan, the new NBA leader is optimistic about the future.
“It’s been three years since tough matches and live events were suspended. This year alone, some local leagues have resumed. It will take some time for schedules to get back into high gear.” says Sheikh.
“Once the FIBA Basketball World Cup takes place, it’s a great time for all parties interested in basketball in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, Japan or Indonesia, who will come together and work together to make the future of basketball strong and bright.” he added.