Pacquiao’s new basketball league gets off ground
Provide livelihood for displaced players, find hidden talents, and veer the youth away from drugs.
These were the main reasons why Sen. Manny Pacquiao launched the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League in a press conference Tuesday.
Combining the best features of the country’s top cage leagues, the MPBL will usher its maiden season on Sept. 23 with 12 teams from local government units and hundreds more in the accompanying tournament for barangays.
According to MPBL commissioner Snow Badua, confirmed to compete in the home and away league initially confined to Luzon, are teams from Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas and Laguna.
The Metro Manila bets are Quezon City, Marikina, San Juan, Makati, Paranaque, Manila, and a yet-to-be-named squad.
MPBL operations head Zaldy Realubit said the LGU teams will have corporate sponsors like Alphaland-Makati and FEU-NRMF-Quezon City.
To maintain equality among the teams, no imports will be allowed, at least four players should be residents of the LGU they’re representing, and no age limit will be imposed.
Players will be given a maximum salary of P150,000 and a minimum of P40,000 for at least six months.
LGU games will be held Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will be televised. General admission and upper box will be free. Inter-barangay action will be held Wednesdays and Fridays and can be be viewed on livestream.
Lined up for MPBL’s inaugural season are the Rajah Cup, Datu Cup, Lakan Cup, Mumbaki Cup and the Urduja Cup with the best performing team overall being declared Supremo Crown winner.
Nothing definite yet
Meanwhile, Pacquiao said nothing’s definite yet as far as his rematch with Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 12 is concerned.
“We haven’t talk about it (details) yet,” said Pacquiao, referring to promoter Bob Arum, in Filipino.
The Australian side of the promotion is getting concerned because Pacquiao has yet to sign the fight contract against Horn, who wrested his WBO light welterweight title last July 2, at Suncorp Stadium.