In a stunning and unforeseen turn of events, the much-awaited Countrywide Basketball League has been cancelled.
This was confirmed to Cebu Daily News by the regional league’s Vice President for Basketball Operations Joe Lipa in a conversation on Friday evening. According to Lipa, the league’s partner, media giant ABS-CBN backed out of its support for the regional league.
“Citing alleged financial reasons, ABS-CBN informed CWBL this afternoon of the withdrawal of television coverage of CWBL games,” said Lipa. “We had no sense of foreboding or even an inkling of this unfortunate turn of events. In fact as late as yesterday, the teams were in communication with ABS-CBN staff on pertinent information on the participating teams,” the legendary coach added.
“This is a very sad day. At 3 p.m., we were talking to them about the different teams that were participating. Then, at 4 p.m., they just informed me that they were backing out. So wala na, cancelled na.” shared Lipa.
The incredible development will no doubt crush the spirit of Cebuano basketball fans who were looking forward to bringing back the glory days of regional-based basketball, the likes of which was last seen in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association. Cebu was gearing up for the participation of their two teams — M. Lhuillier-backed Cebu Niños and the Cebu Landmasters-supported Bogo City.
The league was set to open on Aug. 6, but with ABS-CBN’s withdrawal, Lipa had no choice but to call each and every owner of the six participating teams to relay the devastating news.
He also extended his gratitude to the team owners and managers for their undivided cooperation which they willingly and zealously devoted to the project in terms of setting up and organizing their respective teams.
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