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    MPBL intent on staging Lakan Cup finale in Subic bubble

    Jan 20, 2021

    COMMISSIONER Kenneth Duremdes is praying to the heavens that the government finally gives the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) the green light to resume and conclude its postponed Lakan Cup.

    "Sana maaprubahan na tayo ng IATF," the PBA great-turned-league executive said as the regional league founded by Sen. Manny Pacquiao seeks to finally end its third season.

    Duremdes said that he has already submitted proposals to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Diseases and to the Department of Health (DOH) plotting the league's plan to hold a bubble.

    Subic has also been pinpointed as a possible new location for the MPBL's planned resumption, reneging on its earlier plans to stage bubbles in either Clark, Pampanga or Tanay, Rizal.

    The national government has only allowed professional sports to resume operations as early as October last year, with amateur and collegiate sports yet to go back to action.

    "Hopefully ma-approve yung request natin para by third or last week of February, pwede na tayong maka-resume para na rin matapos ang championship," said Duremdes.

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    The MPBL maintains an amateur status despite the regional nature of its competing teams.

    In March 2020, the league had to temporarily shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the Game Three of both Division Finals unplayed.

    Defending champions San Juan Knights-Go for Gold are facing Makati Super Crunch in the North Division, while Datu Cup runner-up Davao Occidental Tigers-Cocolife are butting heads with Basilan Steel-Jumbo Plastic in the South Division.

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    Winners of the said tussle will progress to the Lakan Cup Grand Finals, which will be a best-of-five affair.

    If approved, Duremdes assured that the MPBL will abide by the health guidelines approved by the DOH in staging its own bubble until a champion is finally crowned.

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