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MPBL gets ball rolling




The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is as eager as the rest to finally get the ball rolling six months into the deadly pandemic.

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said the they are just waiting for the go-signal from the government for amateur sports to get back to where it was when COVID-19 struck last March.

“Our (MPBL) founder, Senator Manny Pacquiao, said it’s a must for us to finish the national finals of the Lakan Season,” Duremdes told the online version of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

The tournament is down to the last four teams with San Juan and Makati in the North division, and Basilan and Davao Occidental in the South. Both best-of-threes are tied at 1-1.

The winners will move on to the best-of-five national finals.

Duremdes said the league is closely monitoring the situation, and admitted that the MPBL is keeping an eye on how the PBA is doing things as it prepares for a return to actual competition.

With of its status as a professional league, the PBA, along with the Philippine Football League and the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 League, has been allowed to resume practices under strict protocols.

The PBA is finalizing the details of its National Basketball Association-style bubble where all 12 teams will stay for the remainder of the Philippine Cup.

Duremdes said the MPBL is looking at a similar approach, adding that a lot of local government units have expressed their willingness to host the final stage of the Lakan Season.

The MBPL is seriously considering an offer from former senator Jinggoy Estrada for the use of the family private property and resort in Tanay, Rizal for the MPBL and the four teams.

“It’s easy for us to set up a bubble-type tournament,” said Duremdes, noting that right on the first day of action, two teams will be eliminated and the other two moving on to the finals.