The Premier Basketball League and the Independent Basketball Association have merged forces for the upcoming 2013 season. With the IBA-PBL combined effort, that gives the league seventeen teams which range from Missouri to the state of New York.
Before the merger, the PBL planned to start later than normal. Usually the first tip-off is the last day of December and the rest of the teams open up after New Years Day. This year, the tip will be in March.
If you read this week’s (the week of February 3rd, 2013) release of the Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report, a long paragraph was written about the teams excluded and included in the combined league. If you look at the Premier Basketball League’s old/current site, you can see how the teams are matched up in their divisions. The Eastern Division has nine teams, whereas the Central Division only lay claim to eight. This is the same division split from last year, just with more (and some different) teams.
Representing the PBL are the Lake Michigan Admirals, the Rochester RazorSharks, the Indianapolis Diesels (last year based in Columbus, IN and just the “Indiana Diesels”, and the Bloomington Flex (last year’s Central Illinois Drive, now under new management.) From last year’s IBA, it’s the Indiana Splash (last year’s Gary Splash), Lansing Capitals, Kankakee Soliders, Albany Legends, Lake County Stars, and many others. Joining the frey are the West Virginia Miners and the New Jersey G-Force.
A couple of PBL teams did not make the cut, including the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Steamers and the Dayton Air Strikers. A quick Google search did not bring up a single thing about these teams folding, so I suppose this will end on a cliffhanger.
There are some positives about this merger. With the two divisions, teams will not have to make long trips (I’m talking from New York to Missouri.) You have good rivalries that can build up, such as Lake Michigan vs. Lansing and Indianapolis vs. the former Gary Splash.
Will this merger help bring basketball to markets who don’t have sports? While time will tell this tale, one last thing can be said. It worked for the NBA, didn’t it?
Sources of information from Dan Krieger/Our Sports Central and the Premier Basketball League. Picture from the Independent Basketball Association.
Until next time,