|Founded||March 7, 1998|
|Ceased||July 26, 2002|
|No. of teams||16|
The MBA played its first game on March 7, 1998, at the Don Narciso Ramos Sports Complex in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Unlike the Philippine Basketball Association, in which teams represent companies, the MBA teams represented a particular city, province or island in the country. The league brought basketball closer to the people, and it raided the PBA for talent.
The MBA was widely viewed as broadcast giant ABS-CBN's attempt to undermine the PBA after failing to snatch its broadcast rights in 1998.
Metroball allowed foreigners to play for their teams, not requiring Philippine passports of them, nor requiring those foreigners to have Filipino blood. All the league required was that these players be born in the Philippines.
As a direct result of this practice, the MBA and its foreign-born players began attracting attention away from the PBA, forcing the PBA to escalate their own players' salaries and practically rendering the PBA draft useless through a "direct hiring" process.
This allowed PBA teams like Talk 'N Text and Tanduay to negotiate directly with MBA players or MBA prospects (like Asi Taulava and Sonny Alvarado) for their services.
However, the league folded on July 26, 2002, due to extremely high expenses on funding a regional basketball league, and most especially when broadcast partner ABS-CBN withdrew funding for the league. Several players went to the semi-professional Philippine Basketball League en route to the PBA.
The MBA had a season similarly styled to that of the National Basketball Association. The teams were grouped into two conferences: Northern (Luzon and Metro Manila) and Southern (Visayas/Mindanao). The season concluded with the MBA National Finals, where the Northern Conference champion faced the Southern Conference champion to decide the MBA Championship.
After the league adapted a semi-commercial format (teams are sponsored by companies), several methods were used to in determining its champion. In their final season, they have adapted a three-conference format, similar with the PBA.
|Batangas Blades / LBC-Batangas Blades|
|Cagayan de Oro Nuggets/Amigos / Casino CDO Amigos|
|Cebu Gems / Cebuana Lhuillier Gems|
|Davao Eagles / Professional Davao Eagles|
|Laguna Lakers / FedEx-Laguna Lakers|
|Negros Slashers / RCPI-Negros Slashers|
|Nueva Ecija Patriots|
|Pangasinan Presidents / Osaka Pangasinan Waves|
|Pasig Blue Pirates/Pasig-Rizal Pirates|
|San Juan Knights / Andok's-San Juan Knights|
|SocSarGen Marlins / Taguig Marlins|
The MBA had a set of its unique rules compared to the PBA:
Teams in bold won the MBA National Championship.
|Season||Northern Conference||Southern Conference||Series|
|1998||Pampanga Dragons||Negros Slashers||4-1|
|1999||Manila Metrostars||Cebu Gems||4-2|
|2000||San Juan Knights||Negros Slashers||4-2|
|2001 First Phase||Andok's-San Juan Knights||Negros Slashers||3-1|
|2001 Second Phase||LBC-Batangas Blades||Negros Slashers||3-1|
|2002||LBC-Batangas Blades||RCPI-Negros Slashers||0-3|