Emerging Filipino hoops league Filbasket is all set to go international.
The competition spearheaded by former pro Jai Reyes is holding the Filbasket International Championship – Malaysia 2022 presented by Sportsclick from October 23 to October 30.
In the last Filbasket tournament, the 2022 Summer Championship, Malaysian club KL Aseel impressed with a quarterfinals appearance against an array of Filipino teams. This time they will play at home in the Stadium Bola Keranjang, also known as the MABA stadium, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Also enjoying hometown support will be Harimau Malaysia and MBC Basketball Club.
Filipino teams BGC Builders, Pilipinas Aguilas and Makabayan Warriors will also make the trip.
In making this a truly Southeast Asian competition, squads from three other ASEAN nations round out the ten-team field. Singaporean team Adroit Sports Association are joining the fray as are Indonesian outfits Bumi Borneo and Elang Pacific Caesar. Brunei will be represented by Pegasus Brunei.
The format will start with a group stage where teams will play round-robin in two randomly-assigned groups of five. There will be four games a day from October 23 to 27 to produce two semifinalists from each group. One-game semifinals will take place on October 29 followed by a third place game and championship game on October 30. Teams who miss out on the semis will also play friendlies from October 28 to 30.
The league will permit each team to field one naturalized ASEAN player, as many ASEAN imports as they like, and one import from anywhere in the world on their 15-man rosters. The non-Filipino clubs are expected to rope in top Filipino talent for their campaigns.
“We want Filbasket to have a truly international flavor. Over the summer we saw how KL Aseel really made a great impact on our league. Now with the addition of the other countries we expect a really fun and competitive week for basketball fans from all over Southeast Asia,” says Reyes, Filbasket founder and CEO who himself played professionally in Thailand and Vietnam.
This is Filbasket’s third competition. In 2021 they debuted with a bubble tournament in Subic won by AICC Manila. Over the summer they organized the Summer Championship which saw the Nueva Ecija Capitals lift the championship trophy.
The games will all be streamed live on Filbasket’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Game tickets are available online on TNTCO’s website (Filbasket Sponsor): https://tntco.co/products/filbasket | Tickets can also be purchased at the MABA Stadium during game days.
Malaysian sports gear retailer Sportsclick is the title sponsor of the pocket tournament, while other sponsors are Li-Ning, Lavana Hotel, TNTCO, Hoopstervibe, SaltCola by KroBe, COOLY, Happilee, and Yes, Coffee.