New basketball league set to launch in Japan

The Japanese Basketball Association (JBA) has announced it is to launch a new men’s professional basketball league in 2016.

The inaugural ‘P League’ season will run from 2016-17 while the JBA completes the restructuring of domestic leagues into a pyramid format, according to the Japan Times newspaper. Under this strategy, the JBA plans to form an ‘A League’ and ‘B League’ as lower divisions below the P League. The pro-circuit A League will serve as the P League’s developmental division while the non-professional B League will be formed as a league that is open to all clubs.

Mitsuru Maruo, the JBA’s vice-president and National Basketball League president, said: “That we are starting the pro league has been decided, but we are going to discuss on other things from now on.” In preparation for the new league, the JBA has also formed a professional organising committee and a committee for league structure reformation.

A professional league examination committee will also be set up while once-a-month meetings will be held from next month for clubs that could potentially compete in the new league, as well as invited administrative and outside experts. The JBA has set a provisional deadline of June 2015 to determine which teams will join the new league.