MPBL gets thumbs up to become a pro basketball league

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2021 04:59 PM

GAB reminds league to watch out vs game fixing

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MANILA -- The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has approved Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League's accreditation to become a professional league on Thursday.

Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said it is the breakthrough the league has been looking for after it was temporarily halted due to the pandemic.

"Over the last two years, the players have been praying for the league to resume," said Duremdes. 

"During those two years, the league had time to re-assess our direction. Through perseverance and patience, nandito na tayo. We are back with the help of our partner Chooks-to-Go and the guidance of GAB."

Since 2017, the MPBL operated as an amateur league. 

But the pandemic along with the joint resolution of GAB and the Philippine Sports Commission on pro and amateur leagues made the league rethink its position in Philippine sports.

"It's such an honor for all of us to have you," said GAB chairman Abraham "Baham" Mitra. "Madaming nangyari sa GAB over the past few years pero this is one of the biggest.

"Madami nagsasabi na masarap sa pakiramdam na magpo-pro na kami. Maraming nananaginip na maging professional players at makakamit na nila ito sa MPBL."

The league's first foray as pros begins with the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational Tournament, which takes place from December 11 to 23 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Twenty-two teams, which will compete in the tournament with P2 million at stake, have received their certification of accreditation as professional teams.

The 22 teams competing are Bacolod, Bacoor City, Jumbo Plastic Basilan, Bicol-LCC Malls, Bulacan, Caloocan, GenSan, Iloilo, Imus, Laguna-Krah Asia, Makati FSD, Manila, Marikina, Mindoro-EOG, Muntinlupa, Negros, Nueva Ecija, Pasig-Sta. Lucia, EMKAI-Rizal, San Juan-Go for Gold, Sarangani, and Val City-MJAS Zenith.

The teams were also briefed on the benefits of having a GAB license, including helping in player-team-league mediation, implementation of health and safety protocols, and player benefits, among others.

Moreover, teams were also reminded that GAB and the MPBL are against any form of game-fixing and point-shaving.

"Because of Chooks-to-Go, the MPBL is turning professional," said Mitra. 

"We just want to remind everybody that we will not allow any game-fixing. Alam natin na 'yan nakakasira sa ating laro. Sa ating code of conduct, nakalagay dun na you have to disassociate yourself from game-fixing and point-shaving," he continued.

"We are now a pro league. With GAB with us, 'yung mga players na may binabalak, magisip-isip na sila. Once na magkaroon kayo ng bad image, it will be hard to get back," added Duremdes.

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