Home-and-away games make grand return through Maharlika Pilipinas

Paul Lintag on Aug 29, 2017 04:33 PM
Home-and-away games return through Maharlika Pilipinas
Founded and backed mainly by Senator Manny Pacquiao, the brand-new Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League was officially unveiled Tuesday in a press conference at Malate, Manila.

If you enjoyed the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) back in the day, this new league might be you thing.

Founded and backed mainly by Senator Manny Pacquiao, the brand-new Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League was officially unveiled Tuesday during a press conference in Malate, Manila.

A grand initiative, Maharlika Pilipinas will put the home-and-away games back in the map with a national league that will feature at least six teams for its first season.

Different local crews, for now composed of teams mainly from Luzon, will compete in five conferences in a season with a tentative start date of September 23.

All teams are required to have at least four players from their area and all ball clubs will be run like professionals, complete with salaries and a league-imposed salary cap.

The five conferences, which are named after local royalties (Rajah, Datu, Lakan, Mumbai, Urdujah), will each have separate cash prizes for the winners and the team with the most number of titles in a season will be crowned overall champion.

The price for the Supremo Crown winner is an additional P1,000,000.

What's different with Maharlika Pilipinas is the league will have its own barangay tournaments that will also feature home-and-away games.

The "mother teams" or those that play in the main national league, can then select players for the barangay tournaments if they feel like it's necessary.

In short, everyone is welcome to the MPBL as long as you can play ball.

"Ang Maharlika Pilipinas, ito ay binouo sa inspirasyon ni Senator Manny Pacquiao," said Commissioner Snow Badua.

"Ito po ay bukas para sa lahat ng Pilipino, dito kasali ang lahat. Ito po ay magiging daan para mabigyan ng pagkakaton ang lahat para sumikat," he added.


Happy Accident

Maharlika Pilipinas has been in the works since the start of the year with its origins going back to Manny Pacquiao's hometown.

The eight-division world boxing champion regularly runs his own league in General Santos City and he already had plans to expand.

Enter Snow Badua.

"Actually by accident ito eh," he said.

"Accident ito, inapproach ko lang si Senator para sa sponsorship ng coverage namin sa cycling. And then eventually nandun yung grupo na gusto nilang itayo yung liga dito sa Maynila at gawin independent na, different from what it was," Badua added.

After that initial plan, talks with several teams already started and lo and behold, Maharlika Pilipinas is born and almost ready to go.

"The next few months, lumakad yung liga natin and then the last few days nga, talagang binilisan na namin kasi talagang gusto namin September 23 mag-start na," Badua added.

As for Pacquiao, this is just his latest effort to show his tremendous support to basketball.

Boxing may have been the key to all his success but the Pac-Man maintains that basketball is his first true love.

"Ito [Maharlika Pilipinas] ay magbibigay suporta sa ating mga kabataan na mahilig sa basketball at sa lahat ng mg potential na players pa natin," he said.

"Sa bahay ko, wala ka makikitang boxing equipment, sa bahay ko meron akong basketball court doon. Lagi kong sinusuportahan ang basketball. Ito yung alam ko na lahat ng Pilipino gusto dahil maliit ka man o malaki ka, pwede ka maglaro. Kahit babae nga pwede ka mag-basketball eh," Pacquiao added.



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