MPBL eyes another bubble tournament for 19 teams

Published May 11, 2021, 3:06 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes (Screenshot from PSA Forum)

A total of 19 teams are already confirmed to see action in the next season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPLB) tagged as the Mumbaki Cup which is being eyed to be held under a sports bubble setup.

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes bared this development along with other plans for the next season during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday, May 11.

Lakan Cup champion Davao Occidental and runner-up San Juan headline the holdovers from last season while new team Negros Muscovados are set to join the fourth season of the regional semi-pro league.

Las Piñas is seeking to enter the MPBL but has yet to send a letter of intent according to the Philippine basketball great.

Duremdes added that they are looking at mounting another bubble tournament in Subic where they hosted the resumption of the Lakan season last March or in Clark where the PBA staged its Philippine Cup conference last year.

“We’re still eyeing the Subic bubble dahil alam natin na ‘yung place ay secured and safe. Nakita na natin ‘yun dahil nakapaglaro na tayo doon ng championship (We’re still eyeing the Subic bubble because that place is secured and safe. We saw it as we played a championship series there),” he said in the PSA session presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO Philippines, Amelie Hotel, Braska Restaurant and PAGCOR, and powered by Smart and Upstream Media.

A tournament format is already being planned, with two playing venues inside the Subic bubble to squeeze the whole season in two and a half or three months.

However, the traditional Independence Day opening on June 12 remains uncertain as the league has yet to get the approval from the IATF to put up another bubble tournament, not to mention team practices particularly in the NCR plus bubble.

Duremdes, who revealed that it took them three months to secure permits from the IATF and other concerned government agencies to conduct the resumption of the Lakan Cup, said that they’re still hoping to hit the target June 12 opening but a July or August tipoff would still be fine.

The 47-year-old league chief added that they are planning to procure COVID-19 vaccines pending the government’s go-signal to assure the staging of the Mumbaki Cup.

Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum with MPBL.

Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum with MPBL.

Posted by Philippine Sportswriters Association on Monday, May 10, 2021