MANILA, Philippines -- The fourth season of the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) has been postponed to 2021, as the country continues to battle the novel coronavirus pandemic.
MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremedes made the announcement in a memo dated June 1, 2020.
"The 2021 MPBL Season is hereby suspended, and we will start our next season on June 12, 2021," he said.
Duremdes earlier said that they were willing to push through with the second of five seasons backed by Chooks-to-Go, even without television partner ABS-CBN S+A. However, he retracted that statement, acknowledging the difficulty of holding games without a station.
The banning of contact sports for the duration of the general community quarantine also contributed to the decision.
The MPBL has advised all of its teams to continue honoring their player contracts by at least 20% of the agreed-upon salary.
If the country will allow contact sports later in the year, Duremdes is encouraging all teams to enter a "protracted preseason tournament."
The league is also determined to finish its Lakan Cup behind closed doors, as there are at most six games remaining in the tournament. The remaining teams in the competition are the San Juan Knights, the Davao Occidental Tigers, the Makati Super Crunch, and the Basilan Steel.
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