MPBL eyes Dubai league expansion — Duremdes

Published September 15, 2020, 4:23 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is going international with a possible league expansion in Dubai.

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes bared this in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, saying plans are already underway once restrictions are eased in the wake of the pandemic.

The expansion league is tentatively dubbed “MPBL UAE” comprising seven emirates with a similar concept and tournament format from the local league.

It would be an All-Filipino competition.

“It’s a good league and a good concept. Actually, naka-setup na nga sila doon. Hinihintay lang kami,” Duremdes said.

He said organizers in Dubai are inviting them to conduct seminars late November or early December as it initially targets to debut in January next year.

However, the main concern at the moment is the players, who are mostly Overseas Filipino Workers sent home due to the global health crisis.

“We’re hoping na kapag naka-recover, makabalik din sila. We’re just hoping na may vaccine na para mapatakbo na,” Duremdes said.

Meanwhile, Duremdes eyes pocket tournaments for the 31 local teams once the vaccine is available.

These short tournaments will be clustered in North Luzon, Metro Manila, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in preparation for the target 2021-2022 season.

The league has also received offers from three TV networks interested to become their broadcast partners: PTV4, GMA and OnesportsPH after ABS-CBN was denied a new franchise.