The newest members of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Quezon Province and Negros Muscovados were formally welcomed on January 29, 2023 at the Conrad Hotel, Manila.
Team Quezon Province was represented by Magnum Membrere and Atty. Donn Kapunan in lieu of the team owner, Gov. Dr. Helen Tang. Meanwhile, Negros Muscovados was represented by team owner John Gilbor and his wife Grace. They attended the team owners’ meeting with MPBL Founder and CEO Manny Pacquiao and league officials headed by Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.
The MPBL sees a total of 28 teams in the league and each had sent its own representatives to the Quezon City event. The current running season of the MPBL is now on its fifth season and the regular season is seen and set to start on the 10th of March, the venue of which will still be announced at a later date.
MPBL activities and updates
Two teams have already volunteered to host the opening ceremonies and games of the country’s top regional league. Quezon Province and Bataan have shown enthusiasm for being part of the league.
Teams present at the gathering of MPBL’s first general meeting this year:
- General Santos
- Rizal Province
- San Juan
It’s important to mention that there are members who will be returning after missing the highly successful 22-team fourth season. These are Pasay, Paranaque, Cebu, Iloilo and Bulacan.
There is also a steady and growing audience that is captivated by the MPBL. In a report delivered by executive officer Joe Ramos, the numbers show that the league viewership under Cignal TV through One PH and One Sports Plus shows that the MPBL games garnered high ratings with an average of 108,000 viewers and posted a 12-million audience reach. The fifth season will also see an additional network covering the MPBL. This will be via the MPTV (Media Pilipinas) on Channel 98 Cignal HD.
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MPBL’s Fifth Season details
Advanced notice was announced by Duremdes that for the fifth season of MPBL, there will be two breaks or pauses this year. This will be in observance of the Holy Week and the FIBA World Cup wherein the Philippines will be co-hosting the event from the 25th of August through to the 10th of September.
Head of Operations, Emmer Oreta also shared that the teams will be divided into the North and South divisions. This will be for the single round-robin elimination round which will run until September. The top eight teams as a result of this will then move and advance into the quarter-finals. The semifinal round will then be a best-of-three process as well as the Division Finals. The National Finals will be featuring the North and South champions in a best-of-five series bout.
Similar to the fourth season of MPBL, each team will be allowed to name a 22-man roster. The composition of which shall be 15 players of which a maximum of seven ex-PBA players and five Special Gab License (SGL) players can participate in each game.
Co-owner of San Juan Knights, Jinggoy Estrada was also in attendance and queried about the steps to be undertaken to further improve officiating in the games. He shared that he was informed that there will be an officiating seminar coming up with a total of 21 new referees added to the pool of referees in the MPBL this year.
Pacquiao was able to address this as he welcomed the teams and promised an even more successful season. He digresses, “We are focused on bringing joy to the Filipino basketball fans, giving the opportunity for local basketball players and promoting the country’s cities and provinces “Thank you for trusting the MPBL.”
He emphasized that the league will again be on the watch for possible game-fixing of some players, referees and even team officials. All MPBL teams will be provided with the list of players issued “yellow cards” by the league, meaning they’re under investigation for suspected involvement in game-fixing.
He also announced that there will be a pocket tournament to be held at General Santos City on February 22-27. This will also serve as the MPBL’s Pre-Season with at least seven teams competing for a whopping P3 million champion’s purse. Nueva Ecija, represented by team owner Bong Cuevas and team manager Ivan Cuevas, GenSan, Sarangani, San Juan, Batangas, Imus and Team Bulalakaw of Pacquiao have signified their intentions to join.
It’s always good news to see that athletes have more leagues to participate in. It’s a good move for Pacquiao to have been able to establish the MPBL for it has brought the opportunity for future athletes even in the farthest points of the country, to have a go at the game. What other sports would you like to have leagues built on? Wouldn’t it be laudable if football — or soccer — will be encouraged? Let us know your insights on this,guys! Just comment below and we’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!