The Japan Basketball Association said Thursday the men’s top-tier basketball league will be recreated as a domestic pro league starting from the 2007-2008 season.

The move came after two JBA clubs — the Niigata Albirex and the Saitama Broncos — broke away from the amateur-based Japan Basketball League last year and announced the inauguration of a six-team pro league this November. The JBL asked the Albirex and Broncos to reconsider their joining the “bj league” (Basketball Japan League) but received a negative response, leaving no option but to have the two leagues operate separately in the 2005-2006 season.

The JBA’s plan is to create a pro league based on the existing teams in its top-tier Super League while giving corporate teams in the league time to switch to professional organizations, but the JBA has yet to receive nods from the sponsoring companies. The JBA does not sanction the “bj league,” which also features the Sendai 89ers, Tokyo Apache, Osaka Deinonychus and Oita HeatDevils.

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