MPBL mulls delay in opening fourth season

MPBL mulls delay in opening fourth season

Luisa Morales ( - May 8, 2020 - 10:16am

MANILA, Philippines — The Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is not dismissing the possibility of a delayed start to its fourth season.

With the third Lakan Cup still unfinished due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes deemed a June 12th opening for its next season is not feasible.

The basketball executive didn't even mince his words that the fourth season may not even happen at all, with the league's teams affected by the health crisis.

"Marami kasing teams na tinamaan din nitong [COVID-19] virus. May ilang teams na nagpadala na ng feeler na magte-take ng leave of absence next season," said Duremdes on an Instagram live session with Cedelf Tupas over at the MPBL's official Instagram account.

"Napakaimportante nating malaman kung kaya pa ba ng team owners magpatakbo ng team, kapag makita ng league na wala talaga, we might cancel the season," he added.

The Lakan Cup, the last tournament of the third season, has been stalled during the north and south division finals, with only a maximum of seven games left in the season.

Duremdes earlier said that the league will finish the season with closed-door games once health officials deem it safe.

"Kung i-allow tayo to finish the Lakan Season with the restriction of no fans allowed, yes. Four teams na lang yan, definitely kailangan na natin ito tapusin," Duremdes said.

With regards to its fourth season, another contingency plan considered by the league is limiting the number of games to be played by a team.

In total, 31 MPBL teams played a whopping 498 games in the Lakan Season alone with at least five more games to be played.

A shortened season would be more feasible for the Manny Pacquiao-founded league to bounce back after the health crisis.

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