MANILA, Philippines -- After three years of competing in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), Basilan-Jumbo Plastic will now turn professional and move to the Vis-Min Super Cup.
The team has also changed its moniker from the Steel to the Peace Riders.
"This is a welcome development for our league," Vis-Min executive Rocky Chan said of Basilan's move.
Basilan is embroiled in an issue with the MPBL after their do-or-die game in the Lakan Cup against Davao Occidental was called a no-contest.
Two Basilan players tested positive for COVID-19 on March 9. They agreed to take a re-test on March 15, which showed that four more players also returned positive results. The team left the MPBL bubble in Subic Bay but their management has continued to question the MPBL's decision and the league's leadership.
While that situation remains up in the air, their basketball team will focus on the Vis-Min Super Cup, which turned professional in December.
The Peace Makers will still have Jerson Cabiltes as head coach and will keep its lineup from the MPBL.
Aside from Basilan, the Mindanao Conference of the southern pro league also has the Cagayan De Oro Rafters, the Zamboanga Valientes, the Pagadian Explorers, the Roxas Vanguards, and teams from Sindagan and Ozamis.
The Mindanao Conference of the league is slated to begin on the third week of May.