In an unprecedented move, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) announced on Monday that the 2018-19 season would begin on April 1 in the capital, Manila.
The announcement came as a surprise to many, given that the PBA had previously announced that it would be hosting the 2018 World Cup in 2019.
“The PBA’s announcement of the 2019 World Cup is a significant step forward in the country’s effort to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments,” the PGA said in a statement.
“PBA President Ernesto L. Arroyo has been committed to making our 2018 World Series and the 2022 tournaments a reality in the Philippines.”
The PBA was already preparing for a bid for the 2019 event in 2020, but Arroyos decision to host both games at home has not gone down well with the local basketball community.
While the PBOA has a reputation for being a welcoming and inclusive organization, many of its members have been vocal in their criticism of Arroyas leadership.
Many in the community believe the PBEA and Arroyoes decision is a sign that the organization is taking the PBIA to task for not meeting their goals.
“This announcement is a step forward for the PBF and a sign of the leadership and vision of Arlene Arroyes,” said Josefina Lopez, executive director of the National Basketball Association of the Philippines (NBAPA).
“We have expressed our opposition to the decision, and we have a long-standing commitment to ensure that the Philippines does not have a one-sided sports competition that benefits no one, but that harms the national interest.”
Lopez told Ars that the NBAPA would be holding a press conference to share the news of the PBBA announcement on Tuesday.
“We will be releasing more information on the NBAPBA.org page on the PBD as we receive more information,” she said.
“What I can tell you is that we will continue to take actions against any organization that discriminates against the Filipino sports community, especially in regard to the 2018/19 PBA World Series.”
The NBAPA has not yet announced how many teams it plans to support, but Lopez said she believes that number will be “significant” given the number of teams expected to attend the 2018 PBA championship.
“I am confident that there will be many more teams than that.
It is possible that they will not support the PBCA, and the NBA will be there to support them,” she added.
A few months ago, the NBA took a similar stance when it said it would not support any other sports association’s bid to host an event in the nation.
“As of now, the PBLA and PBA have not officially announced any other venues or dates for any other future events,” the league said in the statement.
The PBOAs decision to hold the 2018 tournament in Manila has sparked a number of complaints from the basketball community, many who believe the move could have a negative impact on the local sports scene.
“Arroyo and the PBRA are just throwing the game out,” Lopez said.
“[The PBOI] have been saying for years that they would not host an international basketball event in their country, and it is now the PBBA’s decision that will be the one to be held.”
The league also said that the timing of the announcement was “extremely unfortunate” and that the two organizations should have waited until the PABA’s decision was complete.
“At this point, the decision by the PBSA is very disappointing to us,” Lopez told us.
“For us, we have been asking the PBP for the last six years to consider this tournament and to consider the many benefits that will accrue to the community if we are able to host it here.”