MPBL will give teams time to prepare before restart

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2020 06:08 PM

MPBL will give teams time to prepare before restart 1
Action in the MPBL playoffs has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Handout photo. 

MANILA, Philippines -- There is still no target date for the resumption of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), but commissioner Kenneth Duremdes assured that teams will be given enough time to prepare before they play again.

The MPBL suspended its playoffs in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with both the North and South division finals tied at one game apiece.

While professional leagues such as the PBA are already making plans to resume their seasons, amateur outfits like the MPBL are still waiting for approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on when they can start again.

Nonetheless, the MPBL is already making plans for a possible "bubble," where they will hold the rest of the postseason. Duremdes said the four remaining teams in contention for the championship will be given time to regain their fitness before they plunge into action.

"Magbibigay tayo ng time for the players, for their training. And for the teams also, na mabigyan ng more time to prepare," said Duremdes during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

"Siyempre, hindi biro 'yung six months na layoff ng mga players," he added. "I just hope na 'yung mga players, meron silang kanya-kanyang conditioning."

"But iba ang individual sa team sport, 'yung team training, iba 'yun," he conceded.

In the North Division, San Juan and Makati are tied at one game apiece in their best-of-3 series, while Basilan and Davao Occidental are also tied at 1-1 in the South Division.

Duremdes said these four teams will be given at least a month to prepare before they resume the playoffs. 

He also stressed that the teams cannot practice together right now, as they have yet to receive permission from the government.

"Nasa team owners na 'yun, kung anong way ang gawin nila to keep their players fit," said Duremdes. "'Yung iba, nakikita ko na may mga online training sila with conditioning coaches. But again, habang bawal, hindi natin sila pwedeng i-allow na magkaroon ng team practices."