'High' chance of MPBL return

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PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Harry Roque said the return of the long-stalled Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Season is “high” so long as it could complete the two conditions that were set by the government.

Roque reported on Friday that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has already discussed the request of the MPBL to complete its tournament in a bubble setting in Subic. He said that the league needs to meet two conditions before the IATF gives the green light.

“Kinakailangan lang mag-issue ang Department of Health ng kanilang health protocols para sa amateur (leagues) at kinakailangan sagutin ng SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority) or ng local government unit ng Zambales yung pagpatupad sa health protocols,” said Roque during the press briefing.

“High po ang chance na matuloy po ang kanilang paglalaro,” he added.

The MPBL has long been looking to continue its Lakan Season’s division finals since it was halted in March 2020 because of the health crisis. San Juan and Makati and Davao Occidental and Basilan are set to compete in do-or-die games for the North and South Division titles, respectively.

However, the league has not gotten off the ground due to its amateur status. The government has only given the green light for professional leagues to continue.

Roque added that they would now wait for the Department of Health to set health guidelines for amateur leagues.

“Ang mangyayari, aantayin na mag-issue ng guidelines ang Department of Health para sa mga protocols na applicable. Ang existing protocols po ngayon ay applicable lamang sa professional,” said Roque. (JNP)