MANILA, Philippines -- Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) commissioner Kenneth Duremdes has no issues with MPBL players seeing action in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, but warned that there will be some repercussions.
Specifically, they will be considered "ex-pros" once they return to the MPBL, as the VisMin Super Cup is a professional league that is regulated by the Games and Amusements Board.
"We want to be clear… hindi namin sila binabawalan maglaro in any league," Duremdes recently said.
In early April, Duremdes issued a memo warning players who will participate in the VisMin Super Cup -- or any league classified as professional -- will be considered "ex-pros" by the MPBL and will thus be subject to the league's limitations over such players.
MPBL teams are only allowed to have seven ex-pro players in their lineup.
Duremdes stressed that this rule has been clear since the inception of the MPBL.
"From the beginning, 'yung liga natin, sinasabi na natin, 'pag naglaro ka sa isang pro league, that was before pa, pagbalik mo sa MPBL, you will be considered as ex-pro," he said.
"'Yung memo natin… doon lang 'yun sa mga nagtatanong na mga team owners and players kung ano ba talaga ang stand ng league dito sa VisMin," he explained.
Duremdes made it clear that despite the firm language of the memo, they are in no way barring MPBL players from competing in the VisMin Super Cup.
"Hindi naman 'yung players ang may kasalanan diyan; gusto lang naman nila maglaro," he said. "Hindi naman natin sila pinipigilan dahil hanap-buhay."
Moreover, Duremdes is confident that these players will still find spots in the rosters of MPBL teams despite their status as ex-pros.
"Pagbalik naman nila sa MPBL, pwede naman sila maglaro," he assured. "Imagine, we have 32 teams na tayo ngayon. Pito ang ina-allow nating ex-pro kada team.
"Eh ilan ang naglaro doon? Wala pa sigurong 30," he pointed out. "Kasyang-kasya po 'yan sa 32 teams natin."
"So, 'wag po silang mag-alala. Pito ang ex-pro na ina-allow natin sa MPBL, 32 teams po tayo. So, any time, 'pag kinuha tayo ng teams niyo, 'wag lang lalampas sa seven ex-pros per team, allowed po kayo. Welcome po kayo dahil ito po ang liga ng bawat Pilipino, para po sa inyo 'to," Duremdes said.
The VisMin Super Cup recently concluded its Visayas leg in Alcantara, Cebu, while its Mindanao leg will start on May 30. Among the players expected to see action in the Mindanao leg are Colegio de San Juan de Letran guard Fran Yu and 20-year-old Jericho Montecalvo from the University of the East boys' basketball program.
Meanwhile, the MPBL is still waiting for the government to give teams the go-signal to begin training in their respective areas. A planned June 12 start has been postponed indefinitely as the league works on the requirements from the government.
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