The Philippine Basketball League (PBL) is a commercial semi-professional basketball league in the Philippines. The league is composed of several commercial teams with several collegiate and provincial stars in the fold.
The PBL was formed on 1983, a brainchild of San Miguel Corporation chairman Danding Cojuangco, under its original name the Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL). It was the successor of the defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA), which folded during the early-1980s. During the inaugural PABL tournament, over 36 collegiate and commercial teams participated in the tournament that was played in the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The PABL became a breeding ground for future Philippine Basketball Association superstars Jun Limpot, Johnny Abarrientos, Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Bong Alvarez, Alvin Patrimonio, Jojo Lastimosa and Benjie Paras. In the early days, the league even invited some foreign squads to beef up the tournament.
In the 1990s, the league was renamed as the Philippine Basketball League under Andy Jao, who would later return to the broadcasting panel of the PBA coverage on Vintage Sports. Jao's replacement, Charlie Favis later adopted a new theme, calling the PBL as the "faster league".
Yeng Guiao replaced Favis, when Guiao left the coaching ranks. The league gained early success with the dominance of the Tanduay Rhum Masters, the arrival of Eric Menk and Asi Taulava, and holding PBL games at the air-conditioned Makati Coliseum.
In 2000, former Vintage Sports commentator Chino Trinidad replaced Guiao, when the commissioner resigned to coach Red Bull in the Philippine Basketball Association, the country professional basketball league. The PBL's popularity grew, inviting commercial teams bannered by a single collegiate teams and also gained a stable broadcast partner in Studio 23. In 2007, PBL broke away from Studio 23 and signed an agreement with cable channel Basketball TV to broadcast the games.
Trinidad,in his tenth year as commissioner has announced his retirement, March 23,2010 as commissioner of the PBL and said he will continue his career as sportscaster, and reporter of GMA-7. The retirement will took effect after the 2010 PBL PG-Flex Erase Placenta Open Cup.
Thru an agreement between the PBL and the Liga Pilipinas, A joint tournament will be held in June 2010. The agreement was made as dry-run of a proposed "Developmental League", which was initiated by the Philippine Basketball Association, just like NBA's D-League. The new league will be named "Tournament of the Philippines".
Tournament of the Philippines has started June 9th,2010, and will use Liga Pilipinas' home-and-away leg format with 9 teams involved, 3 from the PBL and 6 from Liga Pilipinas.