MPBL still hopeful it can conclude season
The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is determined on finishing its shuttered Lakan Season in a “bubble” setup late this year.
MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said the league has three options to mount its own bubble that may be the safest way to finish its 2019-2020 season, which was suspended last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only four teams—San Juan, Makati, Davao Occidental and Basilan—remain with both North and South division finals up for do-or-die matches. The finals will be a best-of-five affair.
Duremdes said Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, Subic Freeport in Pampanga and a facility owned by former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada in Tanay, Rizal, are among the locations being considered for the bubble.
Even with its status as an amateur league, Duremdes clarified that MPBL will still study health and safety protocols that have been adapted by the PBA.
The MPBL has a pending request at the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for clearance to resume the tournament.
“If we get clearance, then we have plans in place for a bubble and I think we can pull it off,” Duremdes said in the PSA Forum webcast last Tuesday.
Duremdes estimates teams to be in the bubble for a month including training and actual games.
“We’re looking at the PBA because they have to lead us since they are the pro league for basketball,” Duremdes said.
The PBA will decide on the location of its bubble this week before seeking approval of the government.
“There have been a lot of [local government units] who have volunteered to help us, but we can’t take any risks because this is a health and safety issue,” Duremdes said. “One wrong move and it can affect all other sports, so it’s important that we have to study this carefully.” INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.