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    MPBL cancels 2020-21 season, but bars teams from taking leave of absence

    Jun 1, 2020

    THE Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is scrapping the 2020-21 season and plans to hold its next tournament in June 2021.

    In a memorandum to teams, a copy of which was obtained by Spin.ph, Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes announced the regional league's next moves amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has left sports at a standstill.

    The PBA great said the league has decided to scrap the entire 2020-21 season, which was originally scheduled to open on June 12, pushing it back one year with the next season slated to open on June 12, 2021.

    Instead of a full season, the league intends to hold "a protracted preseason tournament where teams can join optionally to prepare for the 2021-22 season."

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    The memo also included updates on the resumption of the remainder of the games in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Cup playoffs. The league was adamant the rest of the ongoing season will resume "once contact sports is allowed."

    These games involving San Juan Knights-Go for Gold and Makati Super Crunch in the North Division and Davao Occidental Tigers-Cocolife and Basilan Steel-Jumbo Plastic in the South, will likely be disputed behind closed doors and in one venue.

    "All these remaining games shall be held in one venue with no audience and players for the teams involved, as well as their officials, shall be quarantined in one facility throughout the series," the Duremdes memo read.

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      Duremdes previously stated that the MPBL is willing to stage its games despite its home network ABS-CBN being shut down by the government.

      Duremdes had previously said that a number of teams have bared plans to take a leave of absence. But he insisted in the memo that "no leave of absences will be allowed during the next staging of the MPBL.

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      All teams are also "advised to give allowances of at least 20-percent [of their monthly salaries] to its current players under contract," the memo read.

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