Cebu Sharks to take an official leave in MPBL
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Omega Pro Sports International’s (OPSI) Vice President Jerome Calatrava officially announced that the Cebu Sharks would take an official leave in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) this year.
Calatrava, in an interview, said that the team submitted a letter to the MPBL commission earlier this year to announce their official leave. It means that the team will not be seen in action in the upcoming Mumbaki Cup in August.
However, it does not mean that the Sharks are withdrawing from the league. They just have other priorities in mind.
“We take a leave for now. It’s not feasible for us to participate in the league because of the pandemic. That is why we submitted a letter to the MPBL commission this year announcing our official leave,” said Calatrava.
Despite taking on official leave, the team’s franchise is still up in the MPBL.
“Our priority right now is boxing. Also, we’re the very first boxing promotions in the country to promote a boxing event right after the IATF allowed sports to resume,” Calatrava added.
The OPSI and the Omega Boxing Gym are reaping success in promoting fight cards since October last year in their “Kumbati” Boxing Series held in a bubble setup.
Thus, most of their resources and efforts are focused on their boxing venture.
“All of our efforts are focused on boxing right now. But that does not mean we’re leaving behind our basketball team. In fact, we got invited by the VisMin Cup, but it’s sad to say that most of our players have already joined the other teams. So it’s very difficult to bring them back to compete in that league,” Calatrava said.
The Cebu Sharks played two conferences in the MPBL after it was officially formed in 2018.
He said that if the VisMin Cup officials were able to invite them earlier for the Visayas leg, they would’ve taken the possibility of forming a team to join the league.
“If they (had) invited us earlier, we could’ve gotten the chance to assemble the team and bring back our players. We could’ve competed in VisMin Cup,” said Calatrava.
The Sharks’ players like Rhaffy Octobre and Fletcher Galvez signed with the KCS Computer Specialists Mandaue City and the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes in the inaugural Visayas leg of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.
Despite this setback, Calatrava is optimistic that the Cebu Sharks will bring pride again for Cebuano basketball fans in the MPBL in the next conference.
Right now, OPSI is gearing up for Kumbati 10 on July 3, 2021, which features 10 boxers from Omega Boxing Gym. It will be held at the IPI compound in Mandaue City.
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