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PSL, FilBasket seek GAB approval to turn professional

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NO indication that basketball’s charisma is waning with Alaska’s departure from the PBA.

On Tuesday, the leadership of FilBasket and the Philippine Super League (PSL) met officials of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) – the government agency that oversees professional sports in the country – to formally seek its blessing and sanction for their scheduled season-opening as a pro league.

GAB Chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra and Commissioner Eduard Trinidad listened to and watched the power-point presentation made by the two leagues which are both centered on regional basketball development.

“We understand that not everybody can be accommodated in the PBA. It’s good that there are new and aspiring leagues that are taking the initiative to level the playing field for other athletes,” Mitra said.

During the GAB meeting, FilBasket Chairman Buddy Encarnado and league co-founder and President Jai Reyes also personally apologized to Mitra, regarding a negative issue caused by a misunderstanding during the inaugural season of Filbasket last November at the Subic Bay Gymnasium in Zambales.

Fil-Basket ignored GAB’s ‘cease and desist order’ due to a lack of proper league permission. Later, the Office of the President (OP) ignored the league’s event after the GAB’s decision was upheld.

“Let us now put aside the past and focus on how we can provide opportunities for many more players to earn a livelihood in basketball,” added the former Palawan Governor and Congressman.

Filbasket is set to start the league on March 15 featuring 12 teams, while the PSL is also preparing for its inaugural league on March 18 in Dipolog City, Zamboanga, featuring 10 teams.

During the meeting, Mitra also emphasized the memorandum issued recently based on the clarification made by the Commission on Election (Comelec) which prohibits politicians, relatives, and other close associates from participating and providing assistance to teams, leagues, and players themselves.

The PSL which is a regional league consists of teams with the participation of Local Government Units (LGUs) and Party-list groups such as Dumper who owns the Davao Occidental squad.

On Wednesday, the new leadership of the VisMin Cup also approached GAB to announce the opening of the second season of the league on March 19 in Cebu.

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