PBA, NBL discuss possible partnership

Kai Sotto (Adelaide 36ers)

The country’s connection with NBL Australia will now be more than just Kai Sotto.

Officials of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) met with their NBL counterparts Wednesday, Nov. 16, and talked about possible partnership between the two pro leagues.

A seven-point program was discussed by both parties during the meeting, including possible exhibition matches between teams of the two leagues either here or Down Under.

Also talked about were the holding of clinics among coaches, referees, and kids, outreach programs, game hosting, and an exhibition game featuring an All-Star selection.

NBL Australia, of course, is home to the 7-foot-2 Sotto, who is now in his second season playing for the Adelaide 36ers.

“Nabanggit nga nila si Kai na maganda ang nilalaro (sa NBL). OK yung bata,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.

NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger and NBL general manager government relations Tristan Russell attended the meeting via zoom, while Marcial, deputy commissioner Eric Castro and social media head Mich Flores represented the PBA.

“Gusto nila ng partnership with the PBA. League-to-league ito. NBL Australia at PBA,” said Marcial.

The PBA commissioner also mentioned about NBL bringing either a team or an All-Star selection to play an exhibition game in the country and vice versa, raising the possibility of Sotto and the 36ers seeing action before Filipino basketball fans.