I am a fan of Mikee Reyes’ Youtube channel.
Too much basketball content?
Admittedly, it kind of made me go back to blogging. While I still hate hearing my voice as an armchair jock… blogging makes me sane especially with my real job driving him insane with sleepless nights, unnecessary stress, and lack of personal time with my loved ones. Let’s face it, blogging about basketball… is my escape.
The thing about the MPBL is the reason why I don’t want the PBA to go ahead with expansion. I know there are a lot of players looking for basketball incomes but I think we have a lot of leagues to compensate for the lack of teams. And as far as playing time goes, I guess if the player wants to see more action, then he needs to choose between a fine monthly salary and a satisfied basketball career like that in the MPBL, ABL, and NBL. I know these options suck because every Pinoy basketball player wants to unleash hell and go apeshit on their foes as a future PBA Hall of Famer but we are talking about letting the best of the best play in the PBA as well as making sure that the teams playing in the PBA have enough finances to maintain a franchise. Through the years, we have seen college stars turn into busts because they can't break a certain team's system... and they can't understand how a stud could just turn into a regular guy.
Sure, we always throw shade at Terrafirma and to an extent, Northport and Blackwater. At the end of the day though, they have been in the PBA for five-plus years. If you remember the old MBA situation, only Negros, Batangas, Davao, and Cebu were able to start and close the league. Batangas and Cebu would even up the ante by transitioning to the PBL after the MBA’s disbandment.
If you look at the PBL as well as the PBA D-League for that matter, participating teams have varying life spans. Some teams like Hapee would dedicate at least a decade to the PBL grind. Some PBL teams would field another sister team in which one of the teams would dissolve when the players of the teams are either discarded or have transitioned to the PBA (Hapee is another example with Dazz Dishwashing Paste). Speaking of the PBA, the best-funded PBL teams are likely to move to the PBA – either abandoning the PBL totally or creating a competitive but depleted squad that would sooner or later fold like the case of Colt 45 when Tanduay moved to the PBA. Harbour Centre went on a different route by moving to the ABL as the Philippine Patriots but when the PBA came knocking, they let the PBA in twice – once as the Burger King Titans and the other as their current GlobalPort/NorthPort incarnation.
The thing about the PBA is that most teams use the league to build their brands. The reason why the SMC and MVP teams take it a step further by signing the biggest names is that their commercial tools become brand names their selves. Terrafirma is getting the views for having a team alone. Back in the day, the only reason to care about Sta. Lucia Realty is because they have a cast led by Jun Limpot and Dennis Espino. Barangay Ginebra meanwhile, can survive despite… I dunno… the SMC pausing the manufacture of the actual gin product… because the team alongside San Miguel have turned into Pinoy Pop Culture fixtures.
I also want to say Magnolia… but we know them more as the old Purefoods franchise… which pretty much accentuates my point that some PBA teams have crossed to legendary levels.
I still don’t know how the PBA would work on changing their setup. Having commercial brands, however, is a major drawback for multiple owners as well as community-based squads. Maybe the PBA could still have a regional setup even if they have 12 teams in Metro Manila? I mean… the precedent of the NBA had teams in nearby towns duking it out before they expanded to the West Coast.
The thing about the MPBL is that they followed the same NBA setup. They started off with nearby squads and they evolved to the massive league roster they have now. The problem with the MPBL though is their situation. City-based squads are susceptible to graft and corruption. The influx of semi-pro basketball players can be a trigger for game-fixing. Franchises that just popped out from nowhere can just quit midway into the season. The league’s only major restriction has it bad for the Fil-Ams 6’5 and higher but it’s kind of lax with regards to team management.
As of this writing, I just read about the 77-point beatdown the San Juan Knights unleashed against the Makati Super Crunch. As I said, I am talking about larger-than-life teams and San Juan is no different. This team could, in some ways, trace their lineage from its old MBA incarnation in which Philip Cezar calls the shots and guys like Christian Calaguio, Rudy Distrito, Omanzie Rodriguez, and Rafi Reavis unleash hell on their foes. San Juan coach Randy Alcantara even played for the team during their MBA days.
And talking about how different is San Juan’s wavelength over Makati, the Knights were able to get the services of their former superstar and current NLEX Road Warrior, Mike Ayonayon while the Crunch is embedded to controversy because of their recent undertakings.
Meanwhile, Makati tried to battle the Knights with just five players. I remember Edwin Asoro from his days with the Harbour Centre Port Masters but I am not a fan of players no-showing their games of that scale because of contractual obligations. You mean to tell me, all a year’s work, sacrificing a chance to win a title, just because the players and management can’t agree on compensation? I understand the weak economy of the participating teams because of the pandemic but... basketball takes a backseat to a shitty predicament?
And what about the fans who invested time and effort to support their home squad? The Makati squad is first and foremost a city-based team. It's a mix of homegrown stars and semi-pro ballers set on a mission to dominate the ongoing MPBL season.
Committing to the PBA is a marriage between two alpha males. On one hand, a team can't always dominate - both inside and outside the playing court. On the other, you can't just say you want out... because there are a lot of variables you need to check.
And now, you want the PBA to have more teams?
What, to either act as Terrafirma... or the Makati Super Crunch?