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MPBL mulls closed-circuit setup for late August opening

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League will have all its players, team owners, and staff fully vaccinated before it opens the Chooks-to-Go Mumbaki Cup either late August or early September.

If possible, the MPBL intends to adapt the closed-circuit setup, wherein the participants’ movements will be restricted to their homes and the game venues, in lieu of the bubble setup it went through to complete the Chooks-to-Go Lakan Season.

These were the salient points of the memorandum issued by MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes on Friday, May 28.

According to Duremdes, the customary opening date of June 12 has been shelved owing to many restrictions posed by the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Also taken into account was the big number of teams taking part, making it even more difficult for the MPBL to secure permission from the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases to open the Mumbaki Cup.

The IATF allowed the MPBL to complete its division and national finals in a four-team bubble held in Subic, Zambales, last March.

The closed-circuit setup “would significantly cut the cost of COVID-19 RT-PCR tests and other expenses during the course of the conference,” which has drawn 19 teams thus far.

Duremdes said Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the MPBL founder and chief executive officer, has agreed to move the league’s opening after his world welterweight fight against Errol Spence on August 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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