The MPBL is now in the last stage of the playoffs with the Batangas Tanduay Athletics safely in the best-of-5 Finals. Game 2 of the best-of-3 semifinal series between Parañaque and Muntinlupa was played last night.
Contributed Photo/Joaqui Flores
Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League opens next joust June 12
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - April 11, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) will launch its second tournament on Independence Day, June 12, and founder Sen. Manny Pacquiao is optimistic that more teams will join to expand from a Luzon conclave with 10 teams in the inaugural edition to a nationwide competition involving up to 24 squads split into the Northern and Southern divisions.

The MPBL is now in the last stage of the playoffs with the Batangas Tanduay Athletics safely in the best-of-5 Finals. Game 2 of the best-of-3 semifinal series between Parañaque and Muntinlupa was played last night. Batangas topped the single-round eliminations with an 8-1 record and disposed of Bataan, 2-0, in the best-of-3 quarterfinals before taking out Valenzuela, 2-0, in the semifinals. It was recently announced that the champion will receive a cash prize of P1 Million.

Pacquiao said the clamor to join the MPBL bandwagon is resounding. “We’ll try to accommodate everyone,” he said. “At the start, the franchise fee was P500,000. For the second conference, it’s up to P10 Million and I expect it to jump to P50 Million next year. That’s how strong the demand is. We want to give towns and cities all over the country a chance to participate so we can call the MPBL a truly nationwide league for the masses.”

The plan for the second tournament is to play a single-round elimination then there will be a series of playoffs within each division before the Northern and Southern winners dispute the championship in the Finals. It’s a format that’s similar to the NBA where instead of Northern and Southern divisions, it’s the Eastern and Western conferences. How many teams will advance to the playoffs is dependent on how many teams will participate. If there are 24 teams, eight could enter the playoffs in each division.

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes intends to go on a roadshow late this month to invite teams from the Visayas and Mindanao to join. Davao Occidental, Cebu, Bacolod and General Santos City are among the teams showing interest to sign up for the second tournament. “Maraming interested teams na gustong sumali sa second conference,” said Duremdes. “We’re tapping Al Solis and Bonel Balingit as our deputies in Cebu.”        

BASKETBALL MAHARLIKA PILIPINAS BASKETBALL LEAGUE MANNY PACQUIAO
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