MPBL exploring options with 4th season in danger
MANILA, Philippines—A lot of uncertainties surround not only Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s third season but also its fourth.
League commissioner Kenneth Duremdes issued a memo back on April 28 saying that fourth season of the MPBL will be moved to a later date as a June 12 opening won’t be feasible.
The MPBL’s third season was put on hold due to the effects of COVID-19 and still had a maximum of seven games left to be played with only four teams in play.
But a possibility of the next season being scrapped altogether is a possibility, admitted Duremdes.
“There were a lot of teams that were affected by COVID-19 and there some teams that sent signified they might take a leave of absence next season,” said Duremdes in Filipino in an Instagram live session at the MPBL’s official account.
“It’s important for us to know if team owners can still run a team, and if the league sees that it’s impossible for them, we might cancel the season.”
Duremdes, however, said that their priority is to finish the playoffs of the third season then “go from there.”
One of the alternatives is to finish the third season is to play inside closed-door venues.
MPBL has already staged a game in that setup when San Juan-Go for Gold and Makati-Super Crunch played at Filoil Flying V Centre for Game 2 of the North Division Finals on March 11.
“If we’re allowed to finish the Lakan Season with the restriction of no fans allowed, then yes. There are only four teams playing, we have to definitely finish this,” said Duremdes.
He added that if the fourth season will push through, there’s a possibility that they will limit the number of games and the North and South divisions won’t play in a crossover format.
The top two teams from the two divisions will then meet in the Finals, that is if league founder Manny Pacquiao will approve of the measure.
“We will limit the games and the two divisions will have their own tournaments, there won’t be any crossover,” said Duremdes whose league played 498 games between its 31 teams before it got suspended due to COVID-19.
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