A new Filipino basketball league is about to take off.
The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, founded by Senator Manny Pacquiao and his business manager Arnold Vegafria, will officially launch later tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The league’s maiden event will begin with an elaborate opening ceremony and a game between the Parañaque Patriots and Caloocan Supremos.
The league’s premise is simple: it consists of 10 teams located around Metro Manila and Luzon (with expansion to Visayas and Mindanao to follow soon) and it also aims to give grassroots athletes and aspiring basketball players a chance to showcase their skills and continue their basketball careers. These 10 teams are as follows:
- Parañaque Patriots
- Caloocan Supremos
- Batangas City Athletics
- Valenzuela Classic
- Navotas Clutch
- Muntinlupa Cagers
- Bataan Defenders
- Bulacan Kuyas
- Imus MPBL team
- Quezon City MPBL team
A home-and-away format will be followed so that teams can have a chance to play on their home court in front of their fans. In essence, the MPBL is a developmental league that is more similar to the NBA G League and is inspired from the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).
Let’s face it, the Philippines deserves another basketball league and something had to be done about the surplus of talent. Every basketball player dreams of making it to the PBA but what if there is little to no chance of earning a slot?
Also, what if basketball fans does not have the courage or the resources to watch a basketball game in faraway or big venues? This is exactly what the MPBL does: propagate the game of basketball closer to the fan while giving some undeserved talents a chance to prove their worth.
Not only that, the MPBL will get some much-needed exposure on national television via S+A, the sports channel of ABS-CBN. The said channel’s strong reach should benefit the MPBL a lot as it tries to gain the respect of Filipino basketball diehards.
It will be interesting to see how far this upstart league go. But for those who are worried that the MPBL could pose a threat to the PBA, don’t fret because they are only concerned about giving players opportunities while extending the careers of others.
Games of the MPBL will take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. It will be aired on ABS-CBN’s S+A channel.