Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is considering setting up its own bubble, as the league aims to finish its 2019-20 Lakan Cup that has been suspended for months now due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And among the locations the MPBL is looking into is Tanay, Rizal, as none other former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada offered his family’s property in the said municipality for the regional league to use in its plans to jump back into action.
“Tumawag si Sen. Jinggoy sa akin the other day, ino-offer niya yung area nila sa Tanay, Rizal,” league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast, which is presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, PAGCOR, and powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as official webcast partner.
According to Duremdes, the Tanay venue is a viable option for the league as it could accommodate all the four teams that are vying for the championship — the MPBL suspended play last March in the midst of the Division Finals.
“Yun yung famous property of former president Joseph Estrada, kung saan siya dati nag-ano–‘yun yung place na yun. And nung tumawag si Sen. Jinggoy sakin, nag-Viber siya sakin, pinakita niya yung gym, and yung mga areas and mga rooms. So sabi ko parang fit siya for a bubble dahil it’s a private property, malayo, kumpleto–may kitchen, may dining hall,” he said.
“Ang isang concern na lang sa’kin yung shot clock. E sabi ko madali lang yung shot clock, may mga portable tayo niyan. I think maganda yung place na yun. We just need to go there talaga to inspect it. But I think it’s possible ‘pag okay pa yung gym–nakita ko naman wooden. Hindi nga lang siya aircon but yung important ‘yung ma-control mo ‘yung bubble.”
San Juan-Go For Gold and Makati Super Crunch are fighting for supremacy in the North, while looking to emerge as the best team from the South are Davao Occidental and Basilan. Both series are tied at one game apiece.
“Kasya ang apat na teams … hindi naman mago-overnight yung dalawang team na matatalo e. ‘Pag natalo sila, out na sila. They have to leave,” Duremdes said as both the Division Finals are in do-or-die affairs. “So, two teams na lang maiiwan. I think okay siya. Malaki yung space. At kung safety lang, magandang tingnan yun yung Tanay resort ni Sen. Jinggoy.”
Aside from Tanay, Duremdes said that SMART Araneta Coliseum and Subic are also in consideration for the bubble, a set-up best known for being used by the NBA to resume its season that has so far proven to be an effective model.
“Actually marami talagang gustong tumulong sa MPBL. Isa diyan yung Araneta, gusto nila dun na i-hold yung remaining games namin; meron ding Subic. So marami pang gustong tumulong para matapos lang,” he said.
“So titignan namin kung ano talaga yung pinakamagandang lugar para i-bubble yung four remaining teams. Ang importante talaga sa’min yung safety dahil mahirap mag-gamble dito dahil once na magkamali ka, once na sumablay ka, hindi lang basketball apektado rito. Number one yung health risk ng players, number two yung other sports baka maapektuhan din.”
Duremdes said that the league founded by Sen. Manny Pacquiao will also observe the PBA, who is now in the planning stage of holding its own bubble to continue with its 45th season.
“Tinitignan namin ang PBA because they have to lead us, sila yung pro league ng basketball dito sa Pilipinas. Titignan namin kung ano talaga yung ginagawa nila–yung mga exercise, guidelines na ginagawa nila,” said the PBA great.
Still, all this remains a plan yet as the MPBL is waiting for the clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force before they could plot out things — so far, only pro sports are allowed by the government to practice.
“Sumulat na rin tayo sa IATF to allow us to resume our remaining season so inaantay na lang natin. But it seems na dun na rin papunta yung amateur sports e, parang papayagan na rin nila. If ever na mangyari yun meron naman kaming naka-ready na mga plans like yung the famous bubble, kaya rin nating gawin yun. Bu then again kailangan talaga mapaghandaan ng maganda,” he said.