American colonizers introduced basketball and other sports in the Philippines to infuse a sporting culture in a country that had not really known organized sport under Spanish rule. Little did the Americans know that basketball would become the Philippines’ most popular as collegiate leagues and commercial tournaments attracted huge audiences at venues and in broadcasting and print media platforms. International success and intense rivalries in local tournaments spurred the game to immense popularity. Filipinos found a sport it could play well and ended up winning regional international tournaments and even placing third in the 1954 World Basketball Championships. Established in 1975, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is a 47-year old professional league that has stemmed from the game’s popularity. PBA teams depart from the usual global professional community or city based squads since Filipino corporations sponsor teams to promote brand names and products. This paper examines the PBA’s impact on the Philippines as a country-community. The league provides employment for players, media, utility staff and venues as well as income for the broadcast and media entities that cover the games. The PBA also serves as the year-round tournament to hone players who will represent the country in international basketball competitions. The league also holds socio-civic projects in communities and provinces where its games are held like basketball clinics, medical missions and others. The paper also proposes other activities and long-term engagements that could benefit the community further beyond the basketball court.
Lecturer, Communication, Ateneo De Manila University - Department of Communication, Philippines
PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE COMMUNITY IMPACT