NBL aims to parallel CBA

Updated: 2010-02-23 22:21
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BEIJING - The Chinese National Basketball League (NBL) had signed a multiple-million-RMB contract with with an American co-orperation to build a top basketball league in China, the league announced on Tuesday.

The NBL would no longer be a sub league to the elite Chinese Basketball Association league (CBA) and would be another choice to top level basketball players in China, said Xue Yufei, General Manager of the Chinese Basketball Ltd., the league's operating company.

"We will have an eight-year co-orperation with American invester Mr. Huang Jianhua and his partners. The contract worths over a hundred million RMB, with an option for another eight years co-orperation," Xue told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The Lining Ltd. would be the first sponsor of the NBL next season as the China's leading sports-wear brand had signed a five-year contract with the league on Monday. Xue said the contract worthes no less than a half of a hundred million RMB.

"The rules will be changed, the calender will be extended and the television broadcasts will be nation-wide. We're working on the whole bunch of changes for the new season.  I'm sure the NBL will be a parallel league to the CBA," Xue said.

The NBL league usually lasted for one month in the summer on the basis of half home-and-away system.  The regular season was held at one place to save the money.

The new season, which might be opened in June, will last at least three months with 17-18 teams competing on the complete home-and-away system.  The CBA league has 17 teams this season.

Several local television channels had showed their interests in broadcasting the season, including the CCTV sports channel, as the NBL is scheduled during the offseason of the CBA league.

"The NBL will not be another CBA.  One of the differences is the NBL will have relegations. Teams will be divided into two levels with the bottom A-level teams might be relegated into the B-level league," Xue said.

Players of the CBA need one year off if they want to join in the NBL teams. There was no impediments of transfers from the CBA to the NBL in the previous seasons.

Teams will be allowed to sign no more than two foreign players, same as the CBA, in the new season of the NBL, Xue said.

Local reports said the National Basketball Association (NBA) had planned to co-orperate with the NBL, but failed to meet the inquests of the league.

Huang is a Guangdong-borned Chinese American who lived in the United States. He is a co-partner of several professional sport clubs of the U.S., including the New York Yankee, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets.

He bought the Jilin Northeast Tigers of the CBA last summer to become the first foreign owner of the league.