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Having multiple pro leagues 'welcome development' to PH hoops says GAB chief

For GAB chairman Baham Mitra, having the NBL and the new VisMin Super Cup aboard along with the PBA is beneficial for Philippine basketball. NBL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--While the league was short lived, the MBA turned out to be a game changer in Philippine basketball.

For five years, the defunct play-for-pay league became another avenue for basketball players to showcase their worth and for more fan engagement, especially in the face-to-face aspect due to its home-and-away format.

Fast forward to today, the Philippines now has three professional 5-on-5 men's basketball leagues sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board.

And for GAB chairman Baham Mitra, it should be a good news to the hoop community.

"I think the idea of another pro league should be a welcome development to everybody in the basketball community," Mitra said on Wednesday in an online press conference.

During the said event, GAB formally recognized the new VisMin Super Cup as pro, joining the PBA and the NBL as the men's 5-on-5 leagues under the agency's sanction.

Like the MBA, the NBL and the Super Cup are regional in nature, which means once the COVID-19 restrictions ease up further to the point that GAB can now allow the club leagues to reopen their home venues to the fans, the said leagues can enjoy the similar fan engagement to that of the MBA.

"We're hoping that the vaccines will come," Mitra added.

The mass inoculation of the COVID-19 is seen as the first step toward the reopening of the arenas to live audience.

Earlier in the day, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said during the Laging Handa public briefing that the mass vaccination can begin by the last week of February once the first batch of vaccines is expected to arrive by that time.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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