MPBL: Playoffs suspended indefinitely in wake of COVID-19 threat


Posted at Mar 12 2020 08:08 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2020 09:33 AM


MANILA -- The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League on Thursday suspended the ongoing playoff games in an effort to protect fans, players and employees from COVID-19.

"Due to the worldwide coronavirus scourge, it has been decided that the division title playoffs between San Juan and Makati in the North and Davao Occidental and Basilan in the South be suspended indefinitely," MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said in an announcement Thursday evening.

Both best-of-3 series are set to play a deciding game.

Despite being notified to hold the game behind closed doors, San Juan officials opened the gates of Filoil Flying V Centre last Monday for Game 1. San Juan won 76-60.

Makati was supposed to hold home court over at Makati Coliseum last Wednesday for Game 2 but the city government did not give clearance for any sporting event to take place at the venue that resulted in the game being played behind closed doors at the FilOil Flying V Centre. Makati escaped with a 91-88 win.

In the South, Game 1 of the Davao Occidental-Cocolife and Basilan-Jumbo Plastic series was supposed to be hosted at RMC Petro Gazz Arena in Davao City. Instead, the game was rerouted to the Davao Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. The Steel eked out a 74-72 win.

The Lamitan City Gym in Basilan was a packed house on Wednesday for Game 2. The Tigers though silenced the crowd with an 81-76 win.

Both the North and South division finals were supposed to hold a third game on Saturday.

"Just like other sports organizations and events, the league's primary concern is the health and the safety of the public. We'll be closely monitoring the national situation involving COVID-19 until it is contained," Duremdes said.

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