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    MPBL facing challenges in bid to mount 19-team Subic bubble

    May 11, 2021

    MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes admitted the league will be facing a lot of challenges in its bid to mount another bubble for its coming season.

    Duremdes said the MPBL is again considering a bubble in Subic where the title playoffs of the 2019-2021 Lakan Season between Davao Occidental and San Juan was held. But the coming season will be much bigger with 19 teams confirmed.

    “Sa ngayon, ang confirmed teams is 19. We are still eyeing the Subic bubble kasi alam natin na medyo ‘yung place is secure and safe,” said Duremdes during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

    "Nakita na rin natin [kasi] na nakapaglaro na tayo doon ng championship."

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      Duremdes, however, said the process of securing clearance from the government figures to be a challenge, especially with the number of teams expected to see action in the Mumbaki Cup.

      The MPBL commissioner said obtaining the go-signal for practices alone from local government units (LGUs) will be difficult.

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      “We know for a fact that we are facing so much challenges sa application for resumption of the MPBL sa IATF and challenges sa mga nilalabas na guidelines ng IATF regarding sa status ng mga LGUs. ‘Yun ‘yung nakikita namin na medyo nahihirapan ang liga ngayon,” said Duremdes.

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      “Unang-una, wala pa tayo sa stage ng clearance from LGUs na magkaroon ngayon ng mga practices. Again, based sa experience sa championship last time, every day, day-to-day basis kami. Although may clearance to resume, permit to play, day-to-day ang basis natin.”

      Since teams will be practicing separately, monitoring health protocols will be tough for the league, Duremdes added.

      “Teams within the NCR bubble, walang chance mag-practice ‘yun unlike sa ibang leagues na konti ang teams. They can bring in isang monitoring lang unlike MPBL na it’s a regional-based league. Mahirap i-monitor kapag kanya-kanyang practice,” said Duremdes.

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        The former PBA MVP, however, remained hopeful the league will gain clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases as the situation in the country shows signs of improvement.

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        “We are doing some adjustment sa application natin sa IATF. Sana ma-approve tayo kasi medyo bumababa na (cases),” Duremdes said.

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