January 22, 2018

All is set for the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) on ABS-CBN Sports +Action premiere on January 25

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), a new regional-concept basketball league which is a brainchild of Senator Manny Pacquiao, opens its first season this Thursday, January 25 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, and will be shown live on ABS-CBN Sports + Action. 

MPBL gives fresh and undiscovered Filipino basketball talents from local communities and former collegiate and professional players their chance to shine on national TV.

“This will support the youth who are interested in the sports. This will be great help to them. From the grassroots, we are going to discover good players. “Hindi naman kami nakikipag compete sa ibang liga, kundi ito ay ambag, tulong din sa pag-promote ng basketball dito sa Pilipinas. It’s possible that players who shine in the MPBL will eventually get the opportunity to be drafted by other leagues so it could be complementary,” Pacquiao said. 

Arnold Vegafria
Arnold Vegafria, AVL Events International Chairman, happens to be the business manager of Manny Pacquiao and now the overall head of production and marketing of MPBL says, 
"Through Senator Manny Pacquiao's vision, we have a basketball league that truly reaches the grassroots level. Finally, Filipinos from all walks of life who have the talent and passion for the game will be able to show their mettle in the hardcourt. We are thankful for I hope advertisers and basketball fans will support this. This is another platform where Filipinos can find their potential basketball heroes." 
Dino Laurena, Abs-Cbn Sports head expressed his excitement with the entry of the MPBL S+A, which aims to give grassroots athletes and undrafted or untapped basketball players a venue to showcase their skills and continue to pursue their basketball dreams. 

“It was very natural for us to get together because of our shared vision for Philippines sports and our desire to support Filipino athletes in the grassroots level. Serendipitously, we are celebrating the anniversary of the MBA (Metropolitan Basketball Association) this year, which had the same concept and objective,” he said.

All games in the MPBL will feature a home-and-away format similar to the old Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA). Similar to the MBA, the MPBL features teams that represent a province, city, or municipality in the country and has a home and away format that will give the teams a chance to play in their home court in front of their fans. Currently, the league has 10 teams from Metro Manila and Luzon, and will eventually expand to include teams from Visayas and Mindanao.

This first MPBL season, ten teams will compete in the maiden conference of the league, namely Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Caloocan, Imus, Muntinlupa, Navotas, ParaƱaque, Quezon City, and Valenzuela.

They will compete in a single-round robin elimination round with each team hosting at least two home games in their respective arenas.

Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) heads during  media  conference, Annabel's Restaurant, January 22.

Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes also said that each team is required to have at least three players that are truly homegrown to the area.

“The advantage of this is really the pride of the players playing for their respective provinces and cities. We also believe that it will be more exciting because of the support of the fans for their teams. In the preseason, we can really see that they are excited as they also want to see their home players succeed,” he adds

“We would like to thank Sports and Action and ABS-CBN for this. There's a lot of talent na mabibigyan ng chance,” Commissioner Duremdes said.

MPBL team coordinator Emmerson Oreta, a former professional player like Duremdes, added that their long-term goal is to have all teams featuring all homegrown players, like their preseason champion, the Bulacan Kuyas.

Helping Duremdes and Oreta in running the league is another former professional and national team player Zaldy Realubit, who heads the operations, and assistant commissioner Satar Macantal, Pacquiao’s childhood friend who played for Pacquiao’s local team and helped him organize basketball leagues in their hometown of General Santos City.

To further encourage fans to watch the opening at the Araneta Coliseum, Vegafria said they will be giving away one car and ten motorbikes on January 25.

Don’t miss the premiere of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League on January 25 live from the SMART Araneta Colisuem on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD. 

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League telecast is a production of AVL Events International and ABS-CBN Sports + Action. 

Catch the games every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 pm to 11 pm. Watch online via iwantv.com.ph or skyondemand.com.ph. For news and updates, visit sports.abs-cbn.com or follow @abscbnsports on Facebook and Twitter.

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