MIKE Ayonayon is set for a brief MPBL homecoming.
The high-flying forward has been given permission by both the PBA board and his mother ballclub NLEX to rejoin the San Juan Knights-Go for Gold if the MPBL Lakan Season's bubble playoffs pushes through next month.
"Yes, we've given him the permission to play for San Juan in the MPBL playoffs," said Marcial after the board decided on the matter in a special board meeting.
"Before the pandemic naman, we've made the decision to allow Ayonayon and the other draftees from the MPBL to finish their stints with their teams. That hasn't changed," the PBA commissioner added.
Ayonayon was a relative unknown who made his star turn by helping lead the Knights to the MPBL championship last season, building up his draft stock to be picked at No. 3 in the first round of the regular PBA draft in 2019.
The six-foot guard was supposed to finish his stint with the Knights before joining the Road Warriors but never got to as the MPBL's season was packed up with just a pair of knockout games in the division finals left to be played.
Sources said it was San Juan part-owner/ coach Jinggoy Estrada who reached out to the league on Ayonayon's behalf, making the player available for the Knights' do-or-die game against Makati in the playoffs - and beyond.
The question now is if the MPBL bubble playoffs will push through or not.
The MPBL's plan is in the hands of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which has yet to show any indication that it will allow the bubble tournament to push through.
The Games and Amusement Board is not making any representations on behalf of the MPBL since it is outside of the GAB's scope, being an amateur league.