PBA, KBL agree on tie-ups
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2014 - 3:50pm

SEOUL, Korea – The Philippine Basketball Association and the Korean Basketball League have agreed in principle to share programs, including player exchanges, in an effort to expand their fan bases and boost their marketing drives.

PBA board chairman Patrick Gregorio and commissioner Chito Salud explored possible tie-ups with the Korean league in a meeting with KBL commissioner Kim Young Ki and secretary general Jae Hon Lee here Thursday.

“We told them about our plan to invite their player or players for the import-laced third conference. They were impressed, especially when they learned that there are around one million Koreans in the Philippines,” said Gregorio.

“The KBL officials were so impressed with the idea that they quickly sought to have that too. We reciprocated by saying ‘yes, we’re letting our PBA players play in their league too,’” Gregorio added.

The PBA board chair said the KBL also expressed interest in hosting a regular PBA game after seeing the passion of the Filipino basketball fans in the Asian Games basketball competition in Incheon.

“They saw how their team became the virtual guest and Gilas Pilipinas the home team in the Korea-Phl game,” said Gregorio.

“They were quite shocked and surprised to see the passion of the Filipinos here where they saw the Filipinos going to the venues so early to buy tickets tapos sold out na pala,” Gregorio also said.

“And they admired the Filipinos because they stayed outside the venue and waited for the team, never mind if they were not able to watch the game. They actually apologized to us because they did not anticipate that,” Gregorio added.

The KBL now wants to target the Philippine market after having told there are about 400,000 Filipinos in Korea.

“The concern now is the implementing rules, and we will analyze that well,” said Gregorio who invited the KBL officials for the opening of PBA Season 40 on Oct. 19 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. They discuss more details of their possible tie-ups there.

The dynamic PBA official also intends to talk to the officials of other pro leagues in the region to sell his idea of “Asian integration.”

To start that particular program in the PBA, the league is opening its door to Asian players in the Governors Cup in the coming PBA Season 40.

Asian recruits will be on top of the regular imports playing in the season-ending Governors Cup. Tentatively, the board agreed to allow the teams, optionally, to recruit one Asian player each with a maximum height of 6-foot-4.

 “As I've said this is something to look forward to. They (the Koreans) also realized the marketing and branding benefits. Sec-Gen Lee said our rivalry goes a long, long way. They mentioned Shin Dong Pa. Until now, they remember Busan and the Manila Fiba Asia,” said Gregorio.

AS I ASIAN GAMES BUSAN AND THE MANILA FIBA ASIA CHITO SALUD GILAS PILIPINAS GOVERNORS CUP GREGORIO JAE HON LEE KIM YOUNG KI PBA
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