Limpag: Different hats

Mike T. Limpag

In yet another excellent article, sportswriter Jonas Panerio, unparalleled in his craft in Cebu, detailed how some of the players in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) are looking for other ways to earn now that the next season has been scrapped.

Some are selling stuff online. Others are looking for day jobs, while some are dipping into their savings.

With 12 players per team and 30 teams in the league, that’s at least 360 families who suddenly lost their income stream for at least a year since the next season will start on June 12, 2021. Woe to the players who also play around since, aside from a wife, they’d be supporting the No. 2.

It’s not only the players who are affected but the team owners too as businesses have suffered heavy blows during the almost three-month lockdown all over

the country. Those who own resorts or are into tourism-related businesses suffer the most because theirs is an industry that will continue to feel the effects of the pandemic in years to come.

The MPBL faced a double whammy. Even if it was to play the season as scheduled, it lost the reach of its TV partner ABS- CBN as its franchise has yet to be renewed.

At least in the PBA, there is no news of layoffs or salary cuts as the big corporate teams like San Miguel or the MVP group of companies have somehow weathered the storm despite massive losses.

Football, too, is a bit lucky and the rebooted Philippine Football League has presented its guidelines to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to start the league. Ironically, the crowd won’t be a problem this time around because it was a perennial problem hounding the league.

The high school football matches in Cebu attract a bigger crowd than the pro matches in Manila and when the league resumes, they need not fear the crowd. Still, I hope that the league will be successful this year and football fans all over the country, not just in Manila, will somehow support the teams.

It’s a difficult time for everyone, with many losing their jobs, but I hope we can somehow find our own ways to support those who are still maintaining teams in the league. Thanks to them, we still have a local domestic league, something we have dreamed of for years.

We will be wearing various hats in the next few months, fans, supporters, job seekers, players, online sellers or what have you. Let’s find a way to help each other.