Pacquiao’s MPBL all set for grand Big Dome opening

  • Page Views 1496
  • 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

    • 15 February 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      Former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres diagnosed with skin cancer

      Dayanara Torres, 44, reveals that she has skin cancer. The former Miss Universe titleholder took to her social media accounts to announce the sad news that she has been diagnosed with melanoma, a form of skin cancer. It is said to be the “most dangerous form of skin cancer,” ...

    • 15 February 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      The Kid Who Would Be King (PG)

      Regal Awakening! On occasion I go into deep thought as to what parental rating I should give a movie. Hardly ever do I pay much if any attention what the local censor boards levy on films since often I regard these people as simple government bureaucrats who are a ...

    • 15 February 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      ‘Jesusa’ meant for Sylvia Sanchez

      It did not take long for Sylvia Sanchez to say yes once she learned of the project “Jesusa” from writer and director Ronald Carballo. The writer-director was forthright, she said. She knew from the get-go that she was not the original choice. It did not matter to her. She ...

    • 15 February 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      Bong says showbiz remains his first love

      Despite his bid to return to politics, former action hero Bong Revilla maintained he won’t be turning his back on showbiz. “Showbiz is my first love. Bread and butter ko ang pelikula at telebisyon. Ito ang bumubuhay ng pamilya ko. Tuloy-tuloy ang paggawa ko ng pelikula, tuloy ang paglabas ...

    • 15 February 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      BBC praises ‘incredible vocal skill’ of TNT Boys

      The TNT Boys, composed of Kiefer Sanchez, Mackie Empuerto and Francis Concepcion, have caught the attention of media giant BBC. On Tuesday, the BBC posted a video titled “TNT Boys: The teen tribute act captivating the Philippines.” “The TNT Boys’ blend of tribute act, drag performance and incredible vocal ...

    %d bloggers like this: