MPBL cancels 2020-2021 season
MANILA, Philippines — The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League has canceled its 2020-2021 season, citing the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 crisis as well as the uncertainty surrounding the franchise renewal of its television partner, ABS-CBN.
MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes informed all 31 teams of the league’s decision in a memo sent Monday.
The league issued a memo las April 28, canceling the scheduled opening in June as Metro Manila was still under Enhanced Community Quarantine.
“To make matters worse, ABS CBN Sports and Action was shut down and contact sports are still not allowed despite the country’s transition to GCQ,” said Duremdes. “The 2020-2021 MPBL Season is hereby suspended and we will start the next season in June 12, 2021.
Duremdes, however, clarified that the 2019-2020 Lakan Season will be completed as soon as contact sports are allowed by the government.
Only four teams remain in the season that was suspended in the middle March with defending champion San Juan, Davao Occidental, Makati, and Basilan all in contention for the title.
The remaining games will be played in one venue with no audience and players for the teams involved as well as officials will be quarantined in one facility during the duration of the series, Duremdes added.
Duremdes said a protracted preseason tournament may be held in preparation for the 2021-2022 season as soon as the government allows contact sports to be played.
Teams with existing contracts to players are also advised to give 20 percent of the salary during the course of the canceled season.
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