Six teams have so far confirmed participation in the upcoming Cambodia Basketball League for the 2017 season with more clubs from across the country likely to sign up before the September 30 deadline.
The fifth edition of the CBL is billed to start on October 7 and the six teams who have completed the sign-in are 2016 runners up Extra Joss Fighters, Blue Kraits, MGSM, Smart Dragons, Blue Thunders and Siem Reap.
Reigning champions ALLN Confucius Supermen and 2015 winners Mekong Tigers have yet to indicate their willingness to join even as 2014 champs Pate 310 are expected to stage a comeback after missing out last year’s competition.
The full line-up for the season will be finalised soon after the the players registration is completed.
“I am delighted to welcome back those clubs which have already had a taste of the special atmosphere of the CBL as well as the newcomers” said Cambodia Basketball Federation Secretary-General Kao Kanaly following a team owners meeting held at the CBF office on Wednesday.
“Every team brings something special to this event. The presence of these teams highlights the truly cosmopolitan nature of the CBL” CBF’s Marketing and Media Manager Ken Gadaffi told The Post.
“CBL is all about giving an opportunity for the clubs to prove that they have what it takes where it really matters – on the court.”
In a bid to increase the fan base and attract more sponsorships, team managers have decided to increase the quota of Cambodian players taking part in the league and to ensure one local player is on the court at every quarter of the game. Teams run by foreign owners also have an opportunity to draft local players restricted to a minimum of three in each line-up.
“We are facing problems with sponsorship. Right now there is no main sponsor. So the CBF and team owners are looking for best possible ways to go ahead with the league without major sponsors” said Gadaffi.
In all 10 teams will contest the regular season with eight qualifiers moving to the play offs after a round robin. The final four will play knockout semi-finals to determine the two finalists.
The initial draw sorting out the qualification rounds and the regular season phase will be held on September 26 at the CBF Secretariat.