MPBL dead-set on completing Lakan Cup
MANILA, Philippines—With only a few games left in its third season, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League is bent on completing its Lakan Cup, which was abruptly halted at the height of both South and North division finals.
MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said the question is only a matter of when the tournament will resume as the country is still dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
“We’re going to finish our season,” said Duremdes. “It depends on the government’s decision on easing up the restrictions on public gatherings, including sports events. We’re just waiting for clearance from the national government.”
At the time the 31-team tournament was stopped more than a month ago, San Juan and Makati were locked in a 1-1 tie in the North finals, while Davao Occidental and Basilan were also set for a deciding game in the South. The winners of both series will advance to a best-of-five national title series.
Sources, however, said the league could shorten the championship playoffs probably to a best-of-three in a closed venue.
“First, we need to advice the four teams involved since they are all coming from inactivity and the players need to get back in shape,” Duremdes said. “Then we need to consider the stand of the LGUs (local government units).”
Other factors to be considered, according to Duremdes, are land travel, resumption of domestic flights, sea travel, and the availability of hotels, restaurants, and game venues.
Duremdes said the league also needs to discuss the possibility of pushing back the start of the fourth season initially slated in June.
“We can play as soon as the ECQ is lifted but behind closed doors,” said Duremdes. “Hopefully, the situation brightens up.”
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