A brand-new basketball league in the Philippines is set to kick off on May 23 to 25 in the key cities of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The new league, called Liga Pilipinas, was co-founded by ex-PBA commissioner Noli Eala some time last year.
The community-based league aims to harness talents of basketball players from the countryside. Sixteen teams from different regions will be pitted against each other in two conferences each season. The sixteen teams will be divided to represent the North and South divisions. The North division would be composed of Ilocos Sur, Baguio, Pampanga, Taguig, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, and Rizal. The South division would be represented by Cebu, Mandaue, Bacolod, Iloilo (Visayas), Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga, Davao, and Ozamis (Mindanao).
Liga Pilipinas will be running a similar format to the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association. The MBA first used the format of regional basketball in 1998 but eventually crumbled due to weight of expenses.
Liga Pilipinas plans to go down a different road to avoid the mistakes suffered by MBA. “I think the MBA became too eager to compete with the PBA. That will never happen with Liga Pilipinas, because how can you even compare yourself with a 33-year-old league? We will not fall into that. We are all students of history here.” Eala said.