Pacquiao says no imports in MPBL for now until future

Pacquiao says no imports in MPBL for now until future
Sen. Manny Pacquiao is nothing but proud of the MPBL's vision

The 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League is underway.

This, even after the league encountered much turbulence due to a rule that states that each of its 26 teams could only have one Filipino-foreigner.

Amidst all the controversy and criticism, the fledgling league stayed steadfast in its course of action. “We’re just a growing league. The vision of the league is to give a chance to homegrown players,” commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said in the owners’ meeting during the heat of the issue last May.

He then continued, “‘Di naman kasi ganun kalaki ang players sa probinsya kaya ganun. Step-by-step tayo kasi nga we’re striving to be a place for homegrown players.”

And now, the league is rolling without having to change course. “Balanse yung liga natin kasi istrikto naman tayo (sa) players. Bawal yung Fil-foreigner above 6-4 tapos isa lang bawat team,” founder Sen. Manny Pacquiao told reporters in the opener on Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

He then continued, “Wala ring imports.”

And for now until the foreseeable future, the MPBL will remain filled with Filipinos.

Asked if they have plans to open the door for foreign reinforcements a la the PBA, Pacquiao answered, “Wala muna. Nasasapawan kasi ang mga Pilipino.”

That is nothing but good news for the many, many hopefuls in this basketball-crazed country. As the boxing legend put it, “Maraming nakapaglaro (dahil sa MPBL). Actually, nagkaubusan na nga ng players dahil sa MPBL.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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