Pacquiao’s MPBL all set for grand Big Dome opening

  • Page Views 2373
  • A basketball league founded by senator and former world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao will unwrap on Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum, aiming to help the development of grassroots basketball as well as to give more exposure to local players.

    The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) was formally launched on Monday at Annabel’s Restaurant in Tomas Morato, with 10 teams competing in its inaugural season.

    The participating teams are: Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Caloocan, Imus, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Quezon City, and Valenzuela. League organizers said they plan to add squads from Visayas and Mindanao in future seasons.

    For now, however, all eyes will be on the 10 teams starting on Thursday, with the Paranaque Patriots and the Caloocan Supremos beginning hostilities at 7 p.m. The game as well as the league’s opening ceremonies will be aired live on ABS-CBN Sports+Action.

    “This is the noble project of our founder and chairman, Sen. Manny Pacquiao,” said Arnold Vegafria, the league’s overall head of production and marketing who also serves as Pacquiao’s business manager.
    “Talagang dream niya ito,” he said.

    According to Vegafria, Pacquiao’s vision for the MPBL is to help in grassroots development by showcasing local players, while also giving an opportunity to collegiate players or former professionals who fail to earn a spot in the PBA.

    “It’s an amateur league,” explained Kenneth Duremdes, who will serve as the league’s commissioner. “Kaya nga natin siya tinatawag na liga para sa lahat ng Pilipino, kasi lahat dito, as long as Filipino ka, kasali ka.”

    “Kagaya nga ng sabi ni Sen. Manny, matutulungan natin ang mga players na grumaduate sa college na walang mapag-laruan, mga ex-pro na hindi masyado nabigyan ng exposure sa PBA. May exposure sila dito,” he stressed.

    All teams are allowed to have five former professionals, and are required to feature at least three homegrown talents from their province or city. Duremdes said they are hopeful that by playing in the MPBL, these homegrown players will catch the eye of more high-profile squads – and perhaps, even the national team.

    “‘Yung mga grassroots players natin, malay mo, springboard nila ang MPBL,” said Duremdes. “Who knows? Maybe they will represent the country in the national team.”

    “Ito ang nakikita ni Sen. Manny – mga players na out of school or out of the big leagues, ma-expose sila sa MPBL at mapansin sila ng national team or professional team,” he added.

    Already, some former professional players have committed to play in the MPBL. Gary David, who last saw action for Kia in the PBA, will play for Bataan. Paolo Hubalde, who last played for Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League, will play for Valenzuela. Players from the NCAA and the UAAP have also signed up for various teams.

    Taking its cue from the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA), the MPBL is also trying to bring the sport closer to fans by holding games in venues outside of Metro Manila. While the season-opener is at the Araneta Coliseum, subsequent game days will be held in provincial venues, with each team expected to host at least two games on their home floor.

    “Itong liga natin, tayo ang magdadala mismo sa mga tao, sa mga basketball fans,” Duremdes declared. “Ito na ‘yung time na makikita ng mga basketball fans natin na up close and personal ang mga ini-idolo nila, at lalo na, ang mga hometown hero nila.”

    MPBL games will be aired live on ABS-CBN S+A every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

    C. Naredo, abs-cbn

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 03 June 2021
      2 weeks ago No comment

      What’s next for Pacquiao after August 21 fight in Vegas

      Manny Pacquiao will challenge WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in Las Vegas on August 21. What comes next for the 42-year-old fighter and current senator of the Philippines is a matter of great interest. Pacquiao’s longtime trainer and confidant Freddie Roach said in the summer of ...

    • 27 May 2021
      3 weeks ago No comment

      B.C. begins four-step Restart from COVID-19 pandemic

      In March and April 2021, B.C. was hit by a third wave of COVID-19 infections. But something was also about to change as Britisih Columbians registered for vaccination in record numbers between April and May. By May 24, around 60 percent of people aged 18 and over have received ...

    • 20 May 2021
      4 weeks ago No comment

      19 million vaccine doses administered in Canada

      COVID-19 vaccination in Canada started in the week of December 13, 2020. As of May 19, 2021, when Philippine Showbiz Today went to the presses, the federal government counts 19,349,980 doses administered so far. The country has a population of around 38 million, based on current estimates available online. ...

    • 20 May 2021
      4 weeks ago No comment

      Your daily dose of everything NCAA is here: ‘Rise Up Stronger: The Road to NCAA Season 96’ airs beginning May 23

      Get to know the athletes, the coaches, the teams, and what to expect this season as GMA Network via GMA Synergy unveils ‘Rise Up Stronger: The Road to NCAA Season 96,’ airing everyday beginning this Sunday, May 23, on GTV. ‘Rise Up Stronger: The Road to NCAA Season 96’ will keep sports fans entertained ...

    • 20 May 2021
      4 weeks ago No comment

      ‘DITO AT DOON’ PREMIERES GLOBALLY VIA TBA PLAY

      Film aficionados outside the Philippines will no longer be left behind as they get the chance to see “Dito at Doon” (“Here and There”) via the international premium video-on-demand service. Filipinos and cinephiles abroad can sit back and enjoy the must-watch movie of the year “Dito at Doon” (“Here and ...

    %d bloggers like this: