PBA  MULLS  14  TEAM  EXPANSION  IN  2  YEARS

MANILA,
NOVEMBER 1, 2006
(STAR) By Nelson Beltran - The Philippine Basketball Association could well expand to a 14-team league in the next two to three years, a prospect that would further enhance its status as the No. 1 sports-entertainment business in the country.

This was divulged by PBA commissioner Noli Eala who said expansion program is among the priority topics to be discussed by the league board of governors in a two-day, live-in conference abroad in December.

"The board is looking into expanding and itís very possible that the league will have 14 member ball clubs by 2010," Eala told The STAR.

"Weíre already talking with two applicants but I canít divulge their identities yet," Eala added.

Sources, however, identified Harbour Centre as one of those parties with serious thoughts in joining the pro league in the near future.

A giant bank corporation and a petroleum company have also reportedly inquired details for membership application in the league.

Harbour Centre had tried to make a deal with Shell for a franchise takeover. They failed to reach an agreement, though, prompting Shell to instead offer its franchise to Welcoat.

The PBA board feels the current business climate provides the league a good opportunity to expand thatís why they calendared the matter for discussion in their December confab.

The PBA coliseum, PBA Entertainment and other income-generating programs are other things up for discussion in the meeting.

The league has set the launching of PBA Entertainment on Nov. 25. Itís a separate TV program with its own timeslot, co-produced by the league, to complement the PBA games.

The launching was originally scheduled Nov. 18 but was moved a week later to give way to the Manny Pacquiao-Eric Morales rubber match.

It will be remembered that the PBA board also held his annual general board meeting abroad earlier this year.

The governors, the commissioner and his staff met in Macau for three days.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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