By Boy Villasanta I Published: June 11, 2020
The draft for players for the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZ NBL) is on.
And the new feature this selection is to welcome foreign basketball players, including Filipinos.
“We are expanding now. There are teams which need new players because the former players are gone to other world basketball leagues so we need new ones to replace them,” said Justin Nelson, the NZ NBL general manager.
According to Rene Nonoy Molina, a former broadcast media person in the Philippines and now a show producer in NZ, this is a chance for Filipino basketball players to integrate and to get into the international sports arena.
“Ibang klase ito. Multinational na ang membership ng NBL. At alam ko na maraming magagaling na Filipino basketeers na puwedeng makasama rito. Kaya ini-encourage ko ang mga Pinoy players na mag-baka-sakali. (This is a different one. The membership of NBL is now multinational. I know that there are many excellent Filipino basketball players who can pass the draft. So I am encouraging Pinoy basketball players to send in their interest),” said Rene, now NZ-based.
Even if a prospect isn’t a NZ citizen but as long as he follows the procedures in registration, it would be okay but it is more advantageous if the prospective player is already in New Zealand, qualified Justin.
More Kai Sottos
Molina said NBL is also expecting for outstanding Fil-NZ or Fil-Kiwi dream players of the millennial generation who could be tapped for the NBL.
Although newbie Kai Sotto is the model of many aspiring Fil-NZ actors in the court when he performed against the NZ five during the Gilas FIBA playoff against the Kiwi players last year, Rene said NBL can discover other Sottos in the league.
“Marami tayong made-develop na Kai Sotto among Fil-Kiwi sa New Zealand (We can develop many Kai Sottos among Fil-Kiwis in NZ),” beamed Rene.
The impresario and sports buff in NZ has noted the exception of Kai as a young hoopster when the now National Basketball Association G League player performed against the NZ five during the Gilas FIBA playoff against the Kiwi players last year. “Marami tayong made-develop na Kai Sotto among Fil-Kiwi sa New Zealand (We can develop many Kai Sottos among Fil-Kiwis in NZ),” beamed Rene.
According to Nelson, there are seven teams that will play in the NBL in six weeks in 2020 to be held in a number of sports complexes in Auckland.
Rene stressed that NBL is also open to welcome a full-Filipino basketball team only subject to some terms.
“Those who are interested can log in to my Facebook account Rene Nonoy Molina and inquire about the ne NBL design or in www.nznbl.basketball.com.”