TERRIFIC 12: Asia League boss wants more PBA teams in his tournaments

Paul Lintag on Sep 22, 2018 04:31 PM
TERRIFIC 12: Asia League boss wants more PBA teams
iECO is the only Philippine team in the Terrific 12 tournament and its not even from the PBA. July's Super 8 had two PBA teams in the NLEX Road Warriors and the Blackwater Elite. (Power Sport Images)

MACAU --- Make no mistake about it, Asia League boss Matt Beyer wants Philippine teams in his tournaments.

Beyer had two PBA teams for his Super 8 tournament back in July in Blackwater and NLEX.

Both the Elite and the Road Warriors finished with identical 2-1 marks in their respective groups though it was only NLEX that advanced to the semis.

[Related: SUPER 8: Inside the Asia League's grand basketball plans for the region]

For the Asia League's Terrific 12 tournament at the Studio City Event Center here this week, the number of Philippine teams is down from two to only one.

Beyer hopes to address that for his future tournaments.

"The more the better. There's 35,000 Filipinos living in Macau, it definitely would help our fans. Also it just adds more competition into it," Beyer said on the participation of Filipino teams.

"I think everyone is also intimidated by Filipino fans too because they cheer the loudest, they come and they're very united about this. Yeah, I want Philippine teams more than anything else," he added.

Back in the Super 8, Beyer revealed that he's been in contact with PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.

It appears that both parties have great professional relationship however, the PBA's schedule remains a problem.

Playing three conferences, the PBA pretty much runs all year round. Fortunately, the league appears to have taken steps starting next season to accomodate more international meets.

[Related: TERRIFIC 12: Asia League boss: "Chinese fans are scared of Filipino basketball teams"]

While the priority of that adjustment is Gilas Pilipinas, it remains to be seen if other tournaments, like those of Asia League's, will be accomodated as well where actual PBA teams can compete with their counterparts from China, South Korea, Japan, and Taipei.

"Commissioner Willie is a very, very nice man. He's always been very hospitable when I come to Manila. I think he's a friend. But things take time and it's gonna take time for us to get to a point where we can getPBA teams [consistently]," Beyer said.

"As boss Dio [Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy] talked about with me, Filipinos are addicted to basketball so if you go too long without basketball, everyone gets sad. So that's the problem, the league plays 10 and a half months in a year, what do you do? If you can fit into a window that's a perfect situation," he added.

If there's one team from the Philippines that's consistent with the Asia League so far, it has to be Blackwater.

The Elite played in the Super 8 and the iECO Green Warriors are backed by Sy's Ever Bilena.

There's no denying the benefits to competing in the Asia League's tournament as well. Blackwater players have noted their team's improved play can be traced to them competing in international tournaments.

[Related: PBA: Macau Super 8 helped boost Blackwater's confidence]

Following two disappointing conferences in the current PBA season, the Elite used the Super 8 to prepare for the Governors' Cup.

Blackwater is currently 4-0 in the Governors' Cup, taking down three PBA powerhouses including two-time defending champion Brgy. Ginebra. It's the team's best start in franchise history.

Playing abroad against other elite ball clubs work and for Beyer and his Asia League, it's a matter of making it known to the rest of the PBA that there's benefits to reap in joining their tournaments.

"We want RSA [Ramon Ang of the San Miguel group], we want MVP [Manny Pangilinan and his MVP teams], we want these guys to think that this is important," Beyer said.

"Whatever we can do to make them feel that way, I would love to do that," he added.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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