Mon | Nov 11, 2019

JABA to cut NBL to 12 teams

Published:Sunday | October 20, 2019 | 12:16 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Gordon
Gordon
File
UWI Running Rebels player Ramal Carbon (left) drives to the hoop between Urban Knights' Tommy McDonald (background) and Arthur Martin in last season's opening National Basketball League game at the National Arena, which was played on Saturday, February 10, 2018.
File UWI Running Rebels player Ramal Carbon (left) drives to the hoop between Urban Knights' Tommy McDonald (background) and Arthur Martin in last season's opening National Basketball League game at the National Arena, which was played on Saturday, February 10, 2018.
1
2

In an effort to make this year’s staging of the National Basketball League (NBL) a lot more competitive, Paulton Gordon, president of the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA), said that the competition would be reduced from 26 teams to 12.

Gordon told The Sunday Gleaner that the eliminations have already started in all conferences and that the competition is scheduled to begin in three weeks.

“It is much more manageable and (the change was necessary) to ensure the NBL is at a certain quality because we want to make sure that the stronger teams are playing at the highest level against each other,” said Gordon.

‘Good for the sport’

“This will certainly be good for the growth of the sport because I don’t know anywhere else apart from the NBA (National Basketball Association) in the United States where you have so many teams competing in a league,” he said. “I know that in Europe you have 10 to 12 teams competing in their leagues.”

The NBL, which made a return last year without a sponsor, has been seeking sponsorship for the 2019 season. However, Gordon added that they managed to secure a number of sponsors of this year’s competition.

“We are partnering with the Sports Development Foundation and NIA (National Integrity Action), and we are talking with a number of other the persons,” Gordon said. “The bulk of the resources have been there, and based on what the IPL (Independence Park Limited) has told me, the lights at the stadium courts will be ready in December, but we will have access to the indoor arena until those lights are ready.

“The teams are happy about this because ultimately, what we want to do is to transition the competition to the teams for them to organise it pretty much like the Red Stripe Premier League. We want to put the authority in the hands of the teams to run the NBL because our focus is on youth development,” Gordon noted.