PBA now eyeing expansion to 14 clubs says Ricky Vargas

Blackwater and Terrafirma were the last expansion teams that entered the PBA. Two more expansions could come in very soon. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Just right after being reelected by the PBA board of governors as chairman, Ricky Vargas said that the league is now looking at a possibility of opening its doors for future expansion.

In an online press conference on Wednesday, the TNT governor said that he himself proposed the idea as the PBA looks to better from its earnings last season as it is bouncing back financially from the losses it had during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When it was reported to us that there is some interest of new teams coming in to join the PBA—and we saw one of them showing strong interest to come in—we said, 'Why don't we start looking at expanding to 14?'" Vargas said, adding that the board approved the plan for a 14-team league as it is easier to manage than only 13.

The interest was an apparent aftermath of the sale to the Alaska Aces franchise that saw at least five companies looking to buy the team.

Converge eventually won the Alaska sweepstakes, and the team will be known as the FiberXers starting this upcoming season, which will open on June 5.

The PBA's last expansion came in 2014 when it welcomed Blackwater and Terrafirma to the league prior to the 2015 season.

A third team, NLEX, also came in after buying the franchise relinquished by Air21, making the league a 12-team field.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno