MPBL is now a pro league
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) has finally transitioned to a full-fledged professional league after receiving accreditation from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
No less than GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra officially turned over the accreditation at the GAB main office in Makati City today, December 9 to MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes and Chooks-to-Go Sports and Marketing Director Mel Macasaquit.
The Chooks-to-Go-backed major basketball league is set to unfold on December 11 to 23 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“It’s such an honor for all of us to have you,” said GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.
“Madaming nangyari sa GAB over the past few years pero this is one of the biggest. Madami nagsasabi na masarap sa pakiramdam na magpropro na kami. Maraming nananaginip na maging professional players at makakamit na nila ito sa MPBL.”
Since its inception in 2017, MPBL stayed as an amateur league until the COVID-19 pandemic struck wherein GAB and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) authored a resolution allowing only professional sports to resume.
The situation encouraged MPBL league officials to finally turn pro.
“Over the last two years, the players have been praying for the league to resume,” said Duremdes.
“During those two years, the league had time to re-assess our direction. Through perseverance and patience, nandito na tayo. We are back with the help of our partner Chooks-to-Go and the guidance of GAB.”
MPBL’s first appearance as a pro league is this month’s invitational tournament wherein 22 teams will be battling for the P2-million purse.
The 22 teams including Bacolod, Bacoor City, Jumbo Plastic Basilan, Bicol-LCC Malls, Bulacan, Caloocan, GenSan, Iloilo, Imus, Laguna-Krah Asia, Makati FSD, Manila, Marikina, Mindoro-EOG, Muntinlupa, Negros, Nueva Ecija, Pasig-Sta. Lucia, EMKAI-Rizal, San Juan-Go for Gold, Sarangani, and Val City-MJAS Zenith are now considered pro teams.
GAB officials also briefed the MPBL officials and the 22 teams competing in the MPBL, the advantages, and benefits of turning pro,
GAB and MPBL also expressed their strong opposition to any form of game-fixing and point-shaving that might be committed in the tournament.
“Because of Chooks-to-Go, the MPBL is turning professional,” said Mitra.
“GAB will be here in making this tough path of restarting in a pandemic with you. We always believe in self-regulation. Kung ano yung pangangalakad nila, we will respect that.”
“We just want to remind everybody that we will not allow any game-fixing. Alam natin na yan nakakasira sa ating laro. Sa ating code of conduct, nakalagay dun na you have to disassociate yourself from game-fixing and point-shaving,” Mitra continued.
“We are now a pro league. With GAB with us, yung mga players na may binabalak, magisip-isip na sila. Once na magkaroon kayo ng bad image, it will be hard to get back,” added Duremdes. /rcg
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