Premiere sports management agency Virtual Playground has chosen ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23 as its official media partner and exclusive broadcaster for the ASEAN Basketball League’s (ABL) upcoming 7th season.
Months in the making, the deal was led by seasoned sports agent Charlie Dy and Dondon Monteverde who serve as CEO and President of Virtual Playground (VP), respectively. The announcement was confirmed this week over a contract signing attended by Dy and Monteverde; Jericho Ilagan, Chief Operating Officer of ABL; and Dino Laurena, Head of Integrated Sports at ABS-CBN.
The ASEAN Basketball League was inaugurated in Metro Manila back in 2009. The 2016-2017 season will consist of 71 games, beginning with the first match on November 27. All Philippine home games will be aired lived on ABS-CBN S+A Ch. 23 and live streamed through sports.abs-cbn.com. Additional selected matches will be aired on the same channel.
The partnership was met with shared enthusiasm, as both parties are committed to champion sports development and Filipino athletes.
“When Virtual Playground first approached us for this project, we were very excited. We believe we can take basketball in this country and raise the game to a whole new level through our participation in the ABL,” said Laurena.
Charlie Dy, who will also be heading the Philippine team recruitment through his company, Virtual Playground, is similarly eager about the opportunities presented. “We Filipinos consider basketball our national sport,” said Dy. “This is a chance for us to give Filipino athletes a platform to showcase our talents and abilities on an international level.”
At the same time, Laurena sees the sporting event as a way to promote nation-building.
“These games end up becoming national events, something that people anticipate. It gives us something to root for. It’s a way for us to show our sense of pride. Hopefully, it will also bring people together and give them a reason to celebrate,” Laurena said.
In the ABL, basketball fans will see some Filipino play as imports, a testament to the country’s formidable skill
“When it comes to basketball, Filipinos are a well-recognized talent in the region,” adds Jericho Ilagan.
Together, the three groups vow to breathe new life to the popular sport, and push the Philippine basketball scene forward into wider territory.
Stay tuned for the ASEAN Basketball League on S+A. For updates, visit sports.abs-cbn.com and follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook.