THE Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League said all its players and teams which take part in the inaugural season of the VisMin Super Cup will be classified as professionals and subject to limitations for ex-pros under the MPBL by-laws.
A memo issued on April 1 by Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes warned MPBL players and teams of such repercussions in what is seen as a declaration of war against the Vismin Cup, another regional league which is set to launch on April 9 in Cebu.
Under MPBL rules, teams are allowed to name only seven ex-pros to their lineups, with only five allowed to play per game.
The MPBL has resisted calls to turn professional even during the height of the pandemic, keeping its semi-pro status.
The memo is expected to affect a number of MPBL who have already committed to play in the Vismin Cup, among them the Basilan Steel side that was declared loser by default in the last MPBL playoffs after four of its players tested positive for COVID-19 during the league's Subic bubble.
Basilan Steel will be competing in the VisMin Cup as Peace Riders.
Sources said a number of MPBL team owners are forging tie-ups with VisMin squads ahead of the league's inaugural season.