PBA in serious talks with two PBA Expansion Teams: Blackwater and NLEX two possible expansion teams, who's the other one?

The Philippine Basketball Association is serious on its bid to have many more team in the league.

Other than Blackwater Sports, two more companies have shown interest in acquiring a PBA franchise, according to league chairman Ramon Segismundo.

Seguismundo declined to name the two other prospective applicants, but said the league is now in the process of evaluating their financial capacity and "ability to contribute to the PBA value."

Two prospects, he added, are now in "serious discussion" with league officials.

“Of course, due diligence is very important, then, brand reputation, contribution to PBA value, and financial muscle to maintain a championship-caliber team for the long term,” said Segismundo, who is also the board of governor of Meralco.

Seguismundo said attracting serious prospects is good for the long-term well-being of the league, which is aggressively pursuing expansion which the league chairman hopes to happen over the next two, three years.

“After San Mig and NLEX’s (championship) win last night (Wednesday), prospective PBA team owners are showing great interest. There are at least two in serious discussion,” Segismundo bared to Spin.ph on Thursday.

Segismundo was referring to the Mixers’ 4-2 title conquest of the Philippine Cup and the Road Warriors’ D-League Aspirants Cup Finals sweep of Big Chill.

“This is very good news for PBA fans, our basketball nation, and our best basketball players who will now be afforded more opportunities,” he added.

Blackwater Sports team owner Dioceldo Sy is set to meet with commissioner Chito Salud, media bureau chief Willy Marcial and Seguismundo on Thursday night for what should be 'the final defense of the company’s application’ in the league.

Sy has high hopes that after the meeting, Blackwater will be admitted as the league’s 11th member ballclub as it looks forward to joining the PBA for its 2015 season which kicks off this October.

Two Teams

NLEX Road Warriors is the most successful team right now in the PBA D-League having won its 
fifth title in six D-League conferences on Wednesday with a sweep of Big Chill in the best-of-three Finals.

Manny Pangilinan is non-committal on the prospect of NLEX jumping over to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) after dominating the D-League since its inception.

Pangilinan, chairman of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) where NLEX is one of the subsidiaries, said there are no concrete plans yet for NLEX to move over to the pro league.

Pangilinan, however, admitted joining the PBA had indeed been discussed in passing right by company executives after NLEX won the Aspirants Cup crown.

If ever, the timing for such a move is perfect since the pro league is currently pursuing expansion plans, although the prospect of a third MVP-controlled team joining in may not appeal to some quarters.

“Pinag-usapan nga kanina but it has to go through the approval process,” said Pangilinan shortly after emerging from a jolly NLEX dugout at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

“Kailangang pag-isipan pa. Nasa PBA na rin ‘yun,” said Pangilinan.

Expansion Teams

The PBA has bared plans to expand its current 10-team roster, citing the surplus of talent that left most players out of jobs after their playing years in both amateur and college leagues.

So far, Blackwater Sports is the one reportedly dead set on applying for a PBA franchise with talks between management and pro league officials now entering its final stage.

NLEX management has been vocal on the company's intention to join Asia’s pioneering pro league and, possibly, becoming the third franchise under the MVP group after Talk ‘N Text and Meralco.

Pangilinan, however, said NLEX’s jump to the pros should still be studied thoroughly.

“Hindi ko pa alam kasi siyempre, iisipin mo rin ‘yung gastos,” said Pangilinan.

NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said it’s up to management if the company wants to move to the PBA.

“It is up to the boss (Pangilinan). So kung ano man ang mga desisyon ng mga boss, I will follow. I’m just a good soldier,” said Fernandez.

Pangilinan arrived late for Game Two of the D-League finals and his presence appeared to perk up the Road Warriors on the way to the title-clinching 88-70 win.

“I came late because of a Philex meeting. They were up by two, tapos biglang bumulusok. I'm happy with their performance,” added Pangilinan.

--- with reports from Spin.ph

PBA in serious talks with two PBA Expansion Teams: Blackwater and NLEX two possible expansion teams, who's the other one? PBA in serious talks with two PBA Expansion Teams: Blackwater and NLEX two possible expansion teams, who's the other one? Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 2/27/2014 Rating: 5

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