(Bobby Ray Parks Jr. playing for Alab Pilipinas of the ASEAN Basketball League)
The Negligence of UAAP & NCAA Updates
For the past two seasons, we've intentionally avoided updating the UAAP & NCAA college teams simply because they were too difficult to update. The designs for their jerseys have become more and more outlandish over the years, with sponsors that were difficult to recognize and find logos for. While player cyberfaces were also one of the most difficult to create for both of these leagues, the Playoff bracket of having UAAP & NCAA teams participate in the overall league's Playoffs mode against PBA teams were found to be completely inappropriate. Also, reports of players being signed by or traded to UAAP & NCAA teams were a huge sight for sore eyes as it makes it look like PBA players in their adult age suddenly come back to their college years for that fountain of youth. Stats were also not updated for the NCAA teams, making it hard to update the players' ratings, tendencies, etc. With all of that, we've completely avoided updating the UAAP & NCAA teams for two whole seasons, while thinking of a way to replace them with more compatible leagues during those years.
The Entrance of the ABL
(The Home & Away jerseys for Alab Pilipinas of the ASEAN Basketball League)
One league we've always considered adding to the PBA 2K family is the ASEAN Basketball League. This season, they are comprised of 6 teams such as the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions, Kaohsiung Truth, Saigon Heat, Singapore Slingers, Westports Malaysia Dragons and the Alab Pilipinas. This year in 2017, we hope to make it a reality.
The Re-Emergence of the PBA D-League
(Screenshots of the PBA D-League in the 2013-2014 PBA 2K season)
The PBA D-League has already made an appearance in PBA 2K in the past, being added as additional teams in our inaugural PBA 2K season (2013-2014). However, this year in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirant's Cup, the PBA D-League is comprised of 10 teams. Namely the Tanduay Light Rhum Masters, Cafe France Bakers - Centro Escolar University, Racal Tile Masters, AMA Online Education Titans, Victoria Sports - MLQU Stallions, Blustar Malaysia, Wang's Basketball Couriers, Cignal - San Beda College, JRU Heavy Bombers, and Team Batangas. This makes the combination of the PBA (12), ABL (6), PBA D-League (10) a total of 28 teams with only 2 slots remaining to complete the 30 team requirement for NBA 2K14.
The Cameo of the Boomers & Tall Blacks
(Screenshots of the Australian Boomers & New Zealand Tall Blacks in an early version of FIBA 2K)
Remember, NBA 2K14 requires 30 teams to be in functional in PBA 2K, this was the difficult decision of having to find exactly two teams that would fit well with the feel of the revamped PBA 2K we are going for. Fortunately, with the appearance of both Oceanic teams in future FIBA tournaments as well as the Tall Blacks participation in the Jones Cup, we've decided to add the existing versions of the Boomers & Tall Blacks from FIBA 2K to PBA 2K.
To create balance in the new PBA 2K, we will no longer support the Fictional Home Courts project for the 2016-2017 PBA season. Instead, we will create two versions, a "Real PBA" version and a "Fictional" version. The Real PBA version will make use of the real PBA schedule, while also having the other teams compete in their own leagues in their respective schedules. In this version, the PBA D-League, ABL and Oceanic teams will have significantly lower coach ratings in order for them to have less chances of making the playoffs (a technique we used for the UAAP & NCAA teams for PBA 2K over the years). The Fictional version will have all of the teams competing against each other in the schedule, similar to the NBA or current state of FIBA 2K & Kuroko V Slam Dunk. In this version, all of the teams are balanced in a way that the coach ratings are of the same tier, allowing all teams and players to have All-Stars or make the playoffs. All leagues will also be separated in half for balance to create a proper Playoff experience.
What do you think about the future of PBA 2K that we have re-designed? It's going to be a long time before we are going to be able to do this as the amount of work needed to be done is enormous. While it will definitely take months to do this, we might be able to see something come to PBA 2K much sooner, such as the appearance of the ABL & Oceanic teams in future versions of PBA 2K first before we proceed with the PBA D-League updates. We are considering a minor update before the end of the 2016-2017 Philippine Cup that adds Alab Pilipinas and both Oceanic teams, before completing the ABL teams right before the start of the 2017 Commissioner's Cup.