A league in constant evolution
MANILA, Philippines — Through the years, the PBA has constantly reinvented itself to stay in step with times.
And for those who work tirelessly to give the adoring Filipino fans the best brand of basketball there is, the league has undergone several changes since the first buzzer between Mariwasa-Noritake and Concepcion Carrier at the Araneta Coliseum in 1975.
“The league has changed a lot over the years. The style of play, the talent of players, the levels are much higher today,” said PBA operations head Rickie Santos.
“Games have become scientific and the quality of plays that coaches map out has improved.”
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial chipped in, saying, “players are more physically fit today. The training is different. The speed is different. Even their size is different.”
“As an organization, the Board of Governors has helped improved the league a lot, be it in scheduling games or loaning players to the national team. The dynamics have really changed.”
Marcial added that the league’s efforts to extend its full help to the national team has helped established a culture of national pride.
“We are one with the Filipinos in trying to help the national team achieve victory,” he said.
“Our country really loves the sport of basketball. It’s like football in other countries,” Marcial added.
“Here, every fan, including his mother and father, know what’s going on in basketball. You can’t cheat the Filipino in basketball because he knows the game very well.”
Santos said that the league has constantly been lauded by foreign observers on the way it has made itself the benchmark when it comes to organizing a professional basketball league.
“Being the oldest professional league in Asia, the PBA has become a yardstick as far as Asian leagues are concerned,” he said.
“We’ve heard from other visitors and friends abroad that the PBA is the best-ran basketball league in Asia, and we’re really proud of that.”
Though it has put itself as an establishment that has been a strong force in propagating the game of basketball, officials still say that the PBA is still looking for ways to present the games better, and for the fans to get the best quality of games the league has to offer. “We never stop looking for ways to improve the league,” Santos said.
“Even if we’re nearing 40 years of existence, we still have a lot of room for improvement.”
Marcial added: “We’re always on the lookout for new innovation. We try to stay in step with what the latest technology has to offer.”
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