13 teams as NLEX, Blackwater, Kia Sports accepted into PBA
MANILA, Philippines — All three applicants for the PBA expansion were approved by the PBA Board of Governors on Thursday.
Ever Bilena (Blackwater Sports), Columbia Automotive Corporation (Kia Motors), and Metro Pacific Investments (NLEx) all got the nod of the PBA board as the newest clubs of the league.
The PBA board had an exhaustive deliberation on Thursday at the PBA office in Libis with representatives of the three applications presenting their cases.
Asia’s first play-for-pay league will have the most number of teams since its inception in 1975 as the PBA opens its 40th season late this year.
“I think this is a momentous occasion for the PBA. Three new teams, three expansion teams, and at the same time, in time for our 49th season. Nothing can be more exciting than that,” said PBA Commissioner Chito Salud.
Salud recommended the applicants’ approval to the Board after thoroughly checking their financial capabilities, and the board voted unanimously for their acceptance.
“The board saw that each of the applications was liquid, profitable and would add value to the league,” Salud also said in a statement.
There will be no direct hires for the newest teams and instead, they will all go through an expansion draft scheduled after the July 9 ending of the season.
The team applicants also will be given the 11th to 13th pick in the first round in the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft.
“In as much as we wanted to give direct hires, we could not because we wanted to treat all the applicants evenly. Only the two of the three applicants have existing teams in the D-League,” said Salud.
Both NLEX and Blackwater Sports have champion ball clubs in the PBA D-League, while Kia Motors is a newcomer when it comes to basketball affairs.