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PBA open to ‘exchange of players’ with other Asian leagues

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 09:36 PM June 28, 2022
Asian league executives including PBA's Willie Marcial during the EASL Draw on Tuesday at Shangri-La The Fort.

Asian league executives including PBA’s Willie Marcial during the EASL Draw on Tuesday at Shangri-La The Fort. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Commissioner Willie Marcial said the PBA is open to welcoming players from other Asian leagues like the Japan B.League and Korean Basketball League as imports amid the influx of Filipino talents overseas.

Marcial is meeting with KBL commissioner Kim Hee Ok Tuesday night with one of the points of discussion a potential “exchange of players” as brought up by the Korean league.

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“Asian imports are welcome here with us any time,” Marcial said in Filipino Tuesday during the East Asia Super League grouping ceremony at Shangri-La Fort where top officials from other top-tier Asian leagues were present.

“The KBL has also told us about exchange of players. I told them, we’ll see how it will work with the league and the (PBA) teams.”

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The B.League has become a hot destination for Filipino players with the likes of the Ravena brothers Kiefer and Thirdy, Dwight Ramos and Ray Parks to name a few opting to take their talents to Japan.

But recently, the KBL has lured Filipino prospects as well with Ateneo’s SJ Belangel and Far Eastern University’s RJ Abarrientos forgoing their UAAP careers to play in Korea.

The possibility of having Asian imports in the PBA won’t be a new thing as it had been done before back in 2015.

During the 2015 Governors’ Cup, PBA teams were allowed to sign an Asian import on top of the usual reinforcements. The likes of Sam Daghles from Jordan and Michael Madanly from Syria were among the notable Asian imports who were able to parade their wares in the PBA.

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