Basketball is the most popular team sport in the Philippines. It was originally introduced during the American occupation of the Philippines in 1910. Taught by American teachers at the local YMCA and in the public-school system, it quickly became a nationwide slam dunk.
The first Philippine men’s national team for basketball was formed in the early 1910s, and they consistently participated in the Eastern Championship Games. During the first 10 editions of the Eastern Championship Games, the Philippines won nine of the tournaments, only losing in 1921 to China. Basketball has a huge presence in the Philippines, and there are professional leagues, amateur leagues, and even national and Olympic basketball teams.
Today, Philippines legal basketball betting has become increasingly popular alongside the sport, and Filipinos can bet legally with licensed offshore sportsbooks or at domestic brick-and-mortar/online operator MegaSportsWorld (MSW). However, MSW odds are very limited compared to offshore sportsbook sites, and the minimum age to play is higher at 21+. As such, we encourage bettors to take advantage of the increased number of basketball odds and lines that offshore bookmakers offer, as well as the convenience factor of being able to wager online at 18 and up.
Is It Legal To Bet On Basketball In The Philippines?
Yes, Filipinos can bet online with licensed offshore sportsbooks or at MSW domestically. Philippine gambling laws prevent MSW from offering sports betting on Philippines-based events, but they do offer many international sporting lines. At MSW, players can wager on NBA basketball and just about any other sport contested outside of the Philippines.
Since Filipinos really like to wager on local events, a lot of bettors turn to online sportsbooks. Filipinos can now bet online with Philippine legal online sports betting sites that accept customers from the region. Online players also have the convenience of logging into their accounts and playing on their mobile phones or tablets from anywhere in the islands.
The ease of playing online is really the best part, as players don’t have to drive to a physical location and can bet on Philippine basketball and other popular local events. Our guide to Philippine mobile sportsbooks is a good place to start when looking for information about legal mobile betting sites.
Best Philippine Legal Sports Betting Sites For Betting On Basketball
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Legal Online Basketball Betting In The Philippines
Philippine residents can bet online with legally sanctioned offshore online sportsbooks. Domestic books like MSW have limited and exclusionary online services only. This causes most bettors to play offshore, where they can bet on PBA basketball and other local leagues.
Outside of PBA betting, however, Philippine bettors prefer online sportsbooks mainly because they are convenient. That is, they don’t require players to go to sports betting cafes to place their wagers. Of course, each offshore sportsbook is different, so for readers wanting to know which ones are the best options, our Philippines online sportsbook reviews page is nothing but net. Or, if you like, nothing but Internet…sports betting!
Legal Basketball Betting At MegaSportsWorld
Betting at the MegaSportsWorld (MSW) in the Philippines is a privilege, as not many countries offer a licensed and regulated domestic sportsbook to their residents. MSW offers sports betting on international events, but players must be rated as established “VIP” gamblers and have to be at least 21 years old to participate.
MSW has retail betting locations spread across all the different regions of the Philippines, and they are usually located near the islands’ casinos (or sometimes even in the casinos). MSW is the only legal domestic sportsbook in the Philippines, and bettors can bet on NBA basketball and most other international sporting events.
Philippine Basketball Association
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is the second oldest basketball league in the world behind the USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA). Its inaugural season was 1975, and there are currently 12 company-branded teams. All franchises are owned by corporations, and teams do not play in a home stadium. Additionally, teams and team names may change year to year, depending on their sponsorships.
In the PBA, there is no season champion. Instead, there are three conference tournaments, and if a team wins all three tournaments they are said to be the “Grand Slam” champions. Filipinos can bet on the Philippine Cup, Commissioner’s Cup, and Governors’ Cup (or any other PBA event) with the use of offshore sportsbooks.
PBA Philippine Cup
The Philippine Cup is the first tournament or “conference” of the PBA season and is considered the most nationalistically prestigious of the three PBA legs, as it’s the only one that doesn’t allow any foreign players. The Jun Bernardino trophy is awarded to the winning team.
The Jun Bernardino trophy is a 24-karat gold plated statue worth PHP 500,000, and the winning team gets to keep the trophy for one year, after which time it is replaced by a smaller replica. If a team wins the Philippine Cup three years in a row, they can keep the Jun Bernardino trophy. Only two teams have ever won the tournament three consecutive times: the TNT Tropang Texters and the San Miguel Beermen.
The Beermen have the most titles in the conference’s history at nine in total, but the defending Philippine Cup champions are TNT Tropang Giga (2021), with the Magnolia Hotshots finishing as runner-up.
PBA Commissioner’s Cup
The Commissioner’s Cup – the second leg of the PBA season – is the most bet-on of the three annual tournaments or “conferences.” This portion of the season allows international players, though there is a height maximum, and no players are allowed to be taller than 6’10”. This height limit may change year to year, though it’s been set at six-ten for the last few seasons.
Because of the international flavor of the Commissioner’s Cup, more people bet on this conference than the Philippines Cup, as global punters are more familiar with the athletes in general, giving them a solid statistical background to help make informed wagers.
For the 2022 PBA season, the San Miguel Beermen are the defending champions (2019), while the TNT KaTropa were the runners up. The Beermen have the most Commissioner’s Cups in PBA history with four.
Notice: The 2020 Commissioner’s Cup and 2021 Commissioner’s Cup were both canceled due to COVID restrictions and PBA league delays, but the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup is expected to be contested as normal (but with an adjusted schedule).
PBA Governors’ Cup
Rounding out the PBA season is the Governors’ Cup, which also allows international players under the same height restriction format as the Commissioner’s Cup. The Governors’ Cup was not held from 2003-2010, but it’s been back since the PBA reintroduced the three-conference format.
For 2021, the defending Governors’ Cup champions are Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2019), with the Meralco Bolts finishing in second place. The San Miguel Beermen have the most Governors Cup titles at five, though they won their last championship in 2015. The Beermen, as you can see, are basically the Los Angeles Lakers of the PBA, as they’ve been the most historically dominant club across all three conferences.
Notice: The 2020 Governors’ Cup was canceled due to COVID, but the conference returned in 2021. The 2021 Governors’ Cup tipped off on Dec. 8, 2021, was paused on Dec. 26, and officially resumed on Feb. 11, 2022. The conference concluded on April 22 with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel defeating the Meralco Bolts in the final (4-2).
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 League
Recently the Philippine 3-on-3 basketball league sponsored by Chooks-to-Go was upgraded to professional status, giving Filipino basketball players more options to indulge in their pastime while giving fans extra action to look forward to – and wager on! Betting on the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 league is expected to be available via online sportsbooks once the next Chooks-to-Go season tips off.
NBA (American Basketball)
Betting on the NBA via online sportsbooks is one of the Philippine punter’s most popular basketball betting options. NBA odds are available all year long in the form of future bets, but you will also find props, totals, and money lines for game odds during the season.
As the regular season comes to a close, you will see NBA Playoffs odds and NBA Finals odds. The best part of betting on the NBA is that the season is longer than a typical PBA season, which means there are more wagers to place – and more wagers to win!
Women’s Philippine League And National Basketball Team
Basketball is incredibly popular among men and women, so much so that Filipino women formed their own league in 1998. The league was called the Women’s Philippine Basketball League and consisted of 11 teams. It only operated for two years until it was put on a hiatus, but in 2008, the league was revived to run alongside the PBA. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the league shortly disbanded after the 2008 season.
On the other hand, the Philippine women’s national basketball team has been in existence since 1936, and they consistently take part in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. The FIBA Women’s Cup is a regional tournament that takes place every year among many Asian countries and other regional teams. China, Japan, and Australia are the clear heavyweights, but the Philippine Women’s National Team has been consistently good since their inception.
NCAA Philippines College Basketball
College basketball is the foundation for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). However, in the Philippines, there are several different collegiate leagues. The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), are considered the elite leagues, but there are a few other potential contenders. As a bettor, just be sure you don’t confuse the Philippine NCAA with the American NCAA – but do be sure you bet on both!
Meanwhile, the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) is a tournament for college teams to compete for the chance to be known as National Champions. There are roughly 250 qualifying teams from different regions nationwide, making this an absolutely massive league for fans and sports bettors. The UAAP and NCAA champions get automatic bids to the PCCL tournament.
The PCCL is the premier amateur basketball league in the islands, and you can only wager on it at offshore betting sites.