It its first two seasons of existence, it's safe to say that the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League has been a huge success.
From just 10 teams in its inaugural 2018 Rajah Cup, the league has expanded every season, growing to 26 teams in the succeeding Datu Cup, and now 31 teams from all across the country in the on-going Lakan Cup.
"I’m so happy because what I planned two years ago, it’s very successful, itong MPBL, because of the support of the fans," Pacquiao said about the MPBL. "Ngayon, we started at ten teams, and then naging 26, then naging 31. I’m overwhelmed with the support, na-amaze ako sa support of the fans sa MPBL, yung nagustuhan talaga nila yung liga dahil ito yung Liga ng Bawat Pilipino, we give time for the local players na makapag-laro."
More than that, the MPBL has provided more Filipino basketball players the opportunity to showcase their talents on a big stage.
From ex-professionals to former collegiate stars, and even unheraleded talents, all have found a home in the MPBL.
"Actually nilimitahan lang namin yung mga [Fil-Foreigner] na maglalaro para mabigyan ng pagkakataon yung mga local players natin, especially yung mga homegrowns natin na makapag-laro sila ng husto," Pacquiao added.
When schedules permit, Pacquiao shares that he makes it a point to attend games to be able to check on the league himself and make sure that everything is running smoothly.
"Napaka-saya ng feeling dahil what you planned is well-accomplished, na makikita mo na overwhelming yung support ng mga fans sa basketball. Pumupunta ako dahil gusto ko pasalamatan yun mga fans, and to supervise also the operation of MPBL, to make sure na lahat ng galaw tama, walang magiging hadlang, para sa tuluy-tuloy na pag-suporta sa MPBL."
Now that the MPBL has become widely successful on the local front, Pacquiao reveals that he is planning to take things to the next level.
Pacquiao reveals that he is looking at the possibility of bringing the MPBL beyond the Philippines and into Asia.
"I’m also planning to do that around Asia, like MPBL International, organizing parang one country, one team. Makapag-organize lang tayo kahit mga dalawampung team, mas maganda yan, tapos tawagin nating MPBL International."
How does MPBL International sound to you?
Check out the full interview below: