MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes himself isn't optimistic that the league's Mumbaki Cup season can start as scheduled on June 12.
The regional league has traditionally held the opening salvo of each season on Independence Day, but Duremdes admitted he has serious doubts that they can start a 19-team bubble in Subic in a month's time.
Obtaining permits for team practices alone will take some time, the former PBA MVP said.
“May hopes pa rin ang league, but then again, ‘yung June 12 siguro, dahil hindi pa nakakapag-practice ang teams, ‘yung ibang teams wala pang players, tingin ko lang, baka hindi tayo umabot ng June 12,” Duremdes said.
The MPBL commissioner cited the league’s experience during the playoffs bubble it mounted in Subic last March where it took months before they received the go-signal from different government agencies.
“Based sa experience namin sa last championship series, inabot kami ng three months. Ganun katagal,” Duremdes said. “Na-experience namin na two weeks na ‘yung papel namin kay Secretary [Francisco] Duque (Health Secretary), hindi pa gumagalaw. For signing na lang.
"After he signed it, binaba na sa region [level] kung saan kami magba-bubble, sa SBMA under Olongapo, Region 3. Ang dami rin pipirma. Hindi namin ma-gather ng isang araw,” said Duremdes.
While the target opening of June 12 may not be met, Duremdes is hoping the process of getting the approval from government units will be smoother this time around so the league season can start at the soonest possible time.
“We are hoping that this time, baka mapaaga. (Pero) ang sitwasyon pa kasi is not favorable to everyone dahil nga sa pandemic,” said Duremdes.