Limpag: Macmac Tallo and the PBA’s lost direction

Limpag
Limpag

There was a time when the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) was the only game in town and people would schedule their post-work activities around a game, a time when Philippine basketball revolved around the league and everyone thought PBA was Philippine basketball.

That time is long gone.

Local communities who used to care who played in the PBA finals can’t even recall the latest PBA champion; the league has lost its appeal to fans, a fact that the league is hesitant to acknowledge.

Talk to any basketball fan, either they don’t know who the current PBA champion is, they don’t even know there’s an ongoing cup.

But these fans, given the chance, would flock to venues if they hear there’s an ex-PBA player in a certain pocket tournament, tournaments that are marketed as having former

PBA players.

Why?

While the league has lost its appeal, the appeal of the players to fans is still fresh, fans who want quality basketball competition but would rather watch the Sinulog Cup rather than the Commissioner’s Cup.

The PBA think it has won, when it punishes players like Mac Tallo for playing in “ligang labas” games but in reality, it’s the PBA that has lost, because they, long ago lost touch with the basketball-manic nation that once cared about the league.

It lost its fans during those times questionable trades were the norm, or top picks were traded for basketball’s equivalent of a toilet paper. Didn’t you remember when every Juan and their drinking buddy Pedro would expect a PBA finals series to go to a Game 7 even before the tip off of Game 1?

And they were right.

The PBA no longer serves as the top dish for basketball hungry Filipinos and proof of that is how players like Macmac Tallo, JR Quinahan fill the stands of ligang labas games. If the league wants to stay relevant in the minds of its former fans, it has to change its stance regarding these ligang labas games.

Use them and players like Tallo, Quinahan or other fringe PBA players who are riding the benches to reconnect the league to the fans they’ve lost along the way.

Let’s face it, some teams collect players the way kids collect legos, they’d only realize they have a piece when it painfully reminds them when they accidentally step on it.

Why not use them to piece together that missing connection from the league to its former fans?

But then again, the league isn’t exactly known for thinking out of the box and it will continue to see ligang labas games as hindrances, not opportunities.

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