Five players have opted to keep their eligibility in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, leaving the Alcantara bubble of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, Tuesday.
“Yes, there are players who have left our bubble and we respect their decision,” said league Chief Operating Officer Rocky Chan.
The players are JR Ongteco, who was supposed to play for KCS-Mandaue City; Enrico Llanto and Edrian Lao of ARQ-Lapu Lapu City; and Tristan Albina and Jaymar Gimpayan of MJAS Zenith-Talisay.
Ongteco is playing for MPBL team Bicol; Albina and Gimpayan for Val City; Llanto for Bataan; and Lao for Cebu.
MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes earlier reminded the league that teams and players planning to suit up and play for pro leagues — including VisMin Super Cup, National Basketball League-Pilipinas, and even ASEAN Basketball League — will be considered ex-pros if they come back. The league only allows seven ex-pros in a full roster and five in game-day lineups to ensure league parity.
Chan said that the Zenith, the Computer Specialists, and the Heroes will be allowed to replace the players that have left until Thursday — a day before the league opens on Friday.
So far, Chan said that the 200 players tested have yielded negative RT-PCR tests.
Also competing in the Visayas Leg are Dumaguete, Siquijor, Tabogon, and Bohol.