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NLEX owners to mull PBA stint

Manila, Philippines – The management of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) – owners of NLEX – will meet in the next few days to discuss the company’s plans for its team the Road Warriors with regards to their PBA participation.

NLEX was one of the three applicants approved recently by the PBA Board as expansion teams.

But unlike the other expansion teams Kia and Blackwater, NLEX – fresh from capturing its sixth title in the PBA D-League – has yet to formalize its entry to the professional league by settling the R100 million franchise fee.

The NLEX Road Warriors have until Saturday to do that, or inform the PBA Commissioner’s Office ahead of the deadline on what actions they will take, either to push through or not with their participation.

However, sources said that what NLEX is looking at now is to buy an existing franchise in the PBA.

One main reason why NLEX reportedly is having second thoughts on its PBA participation is because of the PBA board decision of ‘no concession’ to bring in top amateur players to the pro league.

Because of that, it may take years for NLEX to form a competitive team, that’s why the idea of buying instead an existing franchise was formulated, which will give the Road Warriors instant pieces to compete against the top teams.

Question is, is there one for sale?

Two teams are rumored to be targets of NLEX – Air21 and Alaska. (Waylon Galvez)