Sports and Action
Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League fires away on ABS-CBN S+A
ALV Events Intl and ABS-CBN Sports team up to bring Sen. Pacquiao's Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League to S+A
Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), the league for every Filipino, fires off its inaugural season this Thursday (January 25) with a grand opening ceremony and opening game between the Parañaque Patriots and Caloocan Supremos.
The whole nation is invited to witness this historic moment in Philippine basketball history either live at SMART Araneta Coliseum or on national TV via ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD starting at 7 pm.
The pride of the South, the Patriots are led by the likes of former University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas hotshots Jett Vidal and Juneric Baloria, while former San Beda Red Lions Mar Villahermosa and former Adamson Falcons big man Jan Colina will banner the Supremos.
Then, on Saturday (January 27), it will be a showdown between the Batangas City Athletics, led by former UE Red Warriors Paul Varilla and Mark Olayon, against Valenzuela Classic’s homegrown cagers at 7 pm. It will be followed by the tiff between the Navotas Clutch, bannered by former FEU Tamaraws star Ron Dennison and former LPU Pirate big man Joseph Gabayni, and the Muntinlupa Cagers, bannered by former pros Chito Jaime and Al Vergara at 9 pm.
MPBL games will air every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 pm to 11 pm on the country’s leading free TV sports channel.
A brainchild of Sen. Manny Pacquiao, MPBL aims to give grassroots athletes and undrafted or untapped basketball players a venue to showcase their skills and continue to pursue their basketball dreams.
Arnold Vegafria, the business manager of Manny Pacquiao and MPBL’s head of production and marketing, "Through Senator Manny Pacquiao's vision, we have a basketball league that truly reaches the grassroots level. Finally, Filipinos from all walks of life who have the talent and passion for the game will be able to show their mettle in the hardcourt. This is another platform where Pinoys can find their potential basketball heroes."
ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena also expressed his excitement with the entry of the MPBL on S+A as this is in tune with the sports organization’s mission. “It was very natural for us to get together because of our shared vision for Philippines sports and our desire to support Filipino athletes in the grassroots level,” he said.
Similar to the defunct MBA, the MPBL features teams that represent a province, city, or municipality in the country and has a home and away format that will give the teams a chance to play in their home court in front of their fans. Currently, the league has 10 teams from Metro Manila and Luzon, and will eventually expand to include teams from Visayas and Mindanao. The other teams this season are the Bataan Defenders, Bulacan Kuyas, and two new teams from Imus and Quezon City, respectively.
The league’s Commissioner, professional basketball legend Kenneth Duremdes, also said that each team is required to have at least three players that are truly homegrown to the area.
Other prominent players taking part in the league are former pros like Gary David and Parri Llagas and former NCAA stars like Gab Dagangon, Ryusei Koga, and Khiel Misa.
To further encourage fans to watch the opening at the Araneta Coliseum, the neophyte hoops league will be giving away one car and ten motorbikes on Thursday (January 25).
Don’t miss the premiere of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League on Thursday (January 25) LIVE from the SMART Araneta Colisuem on S+A and S+A HD at 7 pm with the Parañque Patriots taking on the Caloocan Supremos.
On Saturday (January 27), it will be Batangas versus Valenzuela at 7 pm followed by Navotas versus Muntinlupa at 9 pm. Catch the games every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 pm to 11 pm. Watch online via iwantv.com.ph or skyondemand.com.ph. For news and updates, visit sports.abs-cbn.com or follow ABS-CBN Sports on Facebook and Twitter.