SIX national associations have confirmed their participation in the inaugural Asian Basketball Association (ABA), a professional league for East Asian countries, starting in July. Representatives from China, Hongkong, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan were in the territory for an ABA meeting at the weekend and they have pledged their support for the competition. ABA president Carl Ching Man-kay said it would be ideal to have eight teams and they are still waiting to hear from Japan. ''Three clubs from South Korea are anxious to join the competition but we are not keen for a single country to enter so many teams,'' said Ching. Each participating team will host a single round-robin competition and the top two teams after the whole series will go into a best-of-five games play-off to be held in Manila, the Philippines. The series tips off in Shanghai with the second round to be held in Hongkong then moving to Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Singapore. The ABA had a trial run with an Asia-Pacific professional invitational tournament last November but that was a costly failure with the ABA reportedly losing more than $2 million. Ching, however, is confident the ABA and the national associations will make a profit. He said: ''The ABA will charge each team US$100,000 entry fee and in return will provide accommodation at all the stops while the national associations will not have to put up any money but will get a cut from the gates. ''The teams will have to pay the air fare themselves but they too may have a chance of making a profit as they get 80 per cent of gate receipts for their home matches.''