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Amateur league for homegrown players set to take center stage

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TWELVE teams are set to participate in the inaugural season of the National Basketball League (NBL)-Philippines on August 25 as homegrown players battle for supremacy for their locales.

Teams that have confirmed their participation for the opening season of the newest amateur league in the country are Bataan, Bulacan, Camarines Sur, Dasmarinas, Laguna, Marikina, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Paranaque, Quezon City, Rizal, and Taguig.

The league caters to players aged 18 to 29 years old who are homegrown talents of teams from their province, city, or municipality. For the coming season, each team can field 18 players and have a maximum of seven acting as reserved players coming from their province, city, and municipality, following a strict eligibility rules of the league.

The NBL will also be playing its games in the province, city, or municipality of the member teams, giving the community an opportunity to see and their homegrown talents up close and personal.

The league’s games will be getting exposure through the live and replay broadcasts on Basketball TV and Solar Sports, as well as live stream on the NBL Philippines’ Facebook page and the Eagle Broadcasting Corporation Facebook page. The matches can also be seen on a delayed basis on television on Net 25.

NBL commissioner and former PBA cager Nandy Garcia is excited for the coming season as homegrown talents take center stage in the league. Garcia knows the potential of homegrown talents having been discovered by scouts in a league for players in Imus.

“My life in basketball has gone full circle being the commissioner of the NBL. I’m looking forward to seeing new potential talents from our member teams,” said Garcia in a press conference on Wednesday at the Dad’s Restaurant – EDSA.

According to league chairman Celso “Soy” Mercado, the NBL is a complementary league for the PBA and the MPBL as the mission of the NBL is to develop homegrown talents that will make it big in the future.

“We are focusing on our grassroots development of our teams from provinces, cities, and municipalities. It is our dream that NBL players will be noticed by professional and semi-professional leagues

In its commitment to grassroots development, the NBL is also in the planning stage of organizing a women’s commercial league and a youth league that will be held in the coming months.

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