Japan Basketball Association Reveals It Will Launch Pro Men's League For '16-17
The Japan Basketball Association announced that it will launch a new professional men's basketball league in '16, according to Kaz Nagatsuka of the JAPAN TIMES. The pro circuit is "being tentatively called the 'P league.'" The "actual blueprint for the new league is not so complex." The P league will begin play for the '16-17 season, while the JBA also "tackles restructuring the domestic leagues in a pyramidal shape." Thus, the JBA plans to form "the A league" and "the B league" as lower leagues "below the P league." The A league, also a pro circuit, will "serve as the P league's developmental league." The JBA has formed a professional league organizing committee and a "committee for league structure reformation." The association will "also set up a professional league examination committee." JBA acting President Yasuhiko Fukatsu, who was "just elected to become the president from this June, cited the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as one of the biggest factors in pushing the association to decide to create the new league." Fukatsu: "You have to be able to compete at the global level, otherwise your game won't gain recognition and won't have a path to the future." The Japan men’s national team has not "qualified for the Olympics since the 1976 Montreal Games" (JAPAN TIMES, 3/15).