MPBL: Duremdes says IATF ruling good news, but opening training camp not as easy

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2020 03:46 AM

Mahalika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said the directive of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 meant to ease restrictions on basketball training sessions is good for sports in general.

The development was welcomed by the PBA, which is pushing to restart as early as September. 

But Duremdes explained it is more complicated with his league.

"Kung conditioning lang siya with light social distancing, it's a good step for basketball and other sports, regardless if you are professional or amateur," said Duremdes, who is currently staying in his home province of South Cotabato.

"Kaso does it include basketball all over the country? Kasi ang naka-state lang doon only professional leagues. So hindi natin alam kung iyong the rest kasama doon."

He said the PBA is just starting with its 45th season, too, unlike the MPBL, which is already in the semifinals of the suspended Lakan Cup.

The playoffs were forced to halt in March when the pandemic broke out.

"Ang ginagawa namin is nagde-design kami ng plano na iho-hold ang playoff sa iisang venue. Na doon lang lahat, walang uwian for 1 week," Duremdes said.

"Mangyayari lang iyon kung ia-allow na talaga ang contact sport."

MPBL games remaining are Game 3 duels in the North and South Division Finals. 

In the North, the series is between defending champion San Juan Knights Go for Gold and Makati Super Crunch; Davao Occidental Tigers Cocolife and Basilan Steel Jumbo Plastic fight it out in the South.

Things will have to return to normal first before they could resume the playoffs, the commissioner said.

"Ang hanap namin ay venue na papayag ang LGU (local government unit) dahil nagdadala kami ng players. Kasi iba pa yung sa IATF," said Duremdes.

"(Also) we have teams from Davao and Basilan. 'Yung mga players may mga kanya kanyang probinsya 'yun. Paano sila lilipad noon kung hindi pa regular ang flights?"

Duremdes added they have to be patient since there is still no vaccine available.

"Priority pa rin talaga namin ang safety ng players, at game-day officials," he said.

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