But in the past 3 years, it got boring. I only watch PBA when it is playoff time. One thing I noticed, familiar faces and teams were battling it out in the playoffs. What ever conference it may be. San Miguel Corp teams especially San Miguel, now Petron, is always the dominant team followed by Talk and Text and Petron’s two sister teams, Ginebra and Bmeg. Those four were almost always in the playoff hunt seem to pack more fire power each season and leaving other teams lagging behind most of the time. In fact at the PBA 2011 Draft, Petron once again has gotten stronger with their talented draft pick and re-acquiring Dondon Hontiveros. And just this morning, I was able to read that Bmeg was able to take back the 5th pick of the draft containing Mark Barroca after trading the pick before the draft. Seems that SMC teams has control of the PBA. HHHMMM..
Anyway, I did not write this to rant about that. Instead I just want to share an idea to make the PBA exciting once again. At least one conference. I believe that what contributes to the boredom of the league in recent years is lack of teams. 10 teams. 4 of those almost always a contender, 4 other teams, has talent to contend and the last 2 teams almost always at the bottom. There are 3 conferences in each season in the PBA. One All Filipino and two import played conference. I think that is still ok. But instead, why not make the All Filipino Cup a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP conference? Invite teams in the Philippines composed of Filipinos. Invite the two Philippine teams in the ABL, teams from the Liga Pilipinas , teams from the PBA D-League and the National Team. That is at least 3 more teams competing for one ALL Filipino Cup crown. Each team plays each other once and the top 8 make the playoffs. Imagine the scramble if an ABL team or PBA D-League team or a Liga Pilipinas team makes the playoffs. Or a powerful team in the PBA getting beaten in an upset by an ABL or PBA D-League team. It creates intriguing matchups that can bring more excitement to the league.
I know the guest teams would have limitations. Like the ABL teams play with two imports in the ABL but can’t play them since it is All Filipino. ABL, Liga Pilipinas teams or PBA D-League teams can reinforce their lineups and sign from the free agent market. I believe there is a lot of unused basketball talent here in the country and some of them are just being kept in the bench or in the reserves of the PBA teams. Financial limitations is also an issue to Liga Pilipinas teams since they are based in the provinces. The big teams in the PBA can have a “Liga Pilipinas Road Swing" during the eliminations where in they tour the teams in those provinces on the road. Additional guest teams can mean more games teams will play at least thrice a week. And more games would mean more revenue. Lastly, the “joining fee” for the teams to participate in the PBA can be an issue for this not to happen. If there is such, the PBA front office can make considerations and make it happen if they want to. I know there are a lot that I have not considered in this idea because I do not know how the PBA does business with it’s teams. I just want to share this idea and hopefully reach someone in the PBA to make it as a basis for an effort to make the league more exciting for the basketball crazy Filipinos.