PBA, Australia’s NBL eye partnership, possible exhibition matches

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Adelaide 36ers center Kai Sotto. Photo from Kai Sotto’s Instagram

MANILA, Philippines–The PBA is eyeing a possible partnership with Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) after officials from both leagues met virtually on Wednesday.

“Gusto nila ng partnership with the PBA (They want to have a partnership with the PBA),” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said during Wednesday’s Commissioner’s Cup doubleheader at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Marcial and NBL counterpart Jeremy Loeliger were the prime personalities who took part in the Zoom meeting.

Among the plans in a “seven-point program” the two leagues discussed are the possibility of staging exhibition matches between PBA and NBL teams, which could open the door for Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers to see action in the country.

Sotto is currently in his second season with the 36ers, and Marcial bared that NBL officials mentioned the 7-foot-2 cager during their discussion.

“They mentioned that the kid is doing well in the NBL,” Marcial said in Filipino.

The league also bared in a press release issued to media outlets that the two parties also explored “holding of clinics among coaches, referees, and kids, outreach programs, game hosting, and an exhibition game featuring an All-Star selection.”

The online meeting was also attended by PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro, social media head Mich Flores and NBL general manager of government relations Tristan Russell.

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