Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes admitted that it may be tough for the league to open shop on June 12 for its 2021 Chooks-to-Go Mumbaki Season.
The regional semi-pro league plans to start its 2021 season on Independence Day but it could be easier said than done, owing mainly to the circumstances brought about by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Both the Datu and Lakan Cups opened on June 12.
“Gusto na nating mag-resume but we know we are facing so many challenges with regards to the application for resumption of the league sa IATF,” Duremdes said during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum.
“Sa ngayong ang confirmed is 19 teams and we are still eyeing the Subic bubble dahil alam natin that the place is secured and safe.”
Duremdes said that his office had already sent a letter to the Inter-Agency Task Force weeks ago, but they have yet to receive word regarding the progress of their application.
The cage legend-turned-executive then recalled that it also took the league long — three months, he said — before getting the go-signal to stage the pandemic-stalled Chooks-to-Go Lakan Cup Finals in a bubble set-up in Subic, Zambales.
With this, some teams have yet to start training while others have yet to sign players.
“Yung mga challenges din natin sa mga guidelines regarding sa status ng mga LGUs. So yun yung nakikita natin na nahihirapan ang liga sa ngayon. Unang-una, wala pa tayo sa stage na magkaroon ng clearance yung mga LGUs na mag-hold ng kani-kanilang practices,” he said.
“So sa ngayon, teams within NCR bubble, walang chance maka-practice unlike sa leagues na konte lang yung teams. They can bring the teams sa province sa isang bubble.”
Still, Duremdes has his fingers crossed that the MPBL will still be able to raise its curtains on the targeted date. If not, they are hoping for a July or August start.
“Tinitignan natin if hindi tayo maka-start ng June 12, sana July or August. Mahirap mag-set ng timeline dahil depende talaga sa cases ng LGUs,” he said.