The Games and Amusements Board pretty much cleared up years of confusion by
defining what is a professional league and what isn’t. For years, we’ve had professional leagues getting away with calling themselves semi-pro even if it’s obvious that they are pros.
So GAB simply decided that if you play for pay, then you’re a pro league.
But the Manny Pacquiao Basketball League, which we know as the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, is bucking that trend. It is refusing to see itself in the mirror as a professional league and instead is continuing to pretend that it’s an amateur league.
MPBL pays its players. Check.
Its players don’t have other day jobs. Check.
Its players are definitely not students. Check.
This stalemate wouldn’t have mattered two years ago and would have been just a butt of jokes.
But not now.
MPBL wants to resume its postponed season, but under the Inter-Agency Task Force rules, only professional leagues are allowed to resume play. Also, a few months ago, the IATF also made it clear, all amateur sports will be under the purview of the Philippine Sports Commission and all pro leagues will be under GAB. That ruling was what made GAB simplify the definitions of a pro league.
Which makes MPBL’s stubborness strange.
Why is it afraid to face the truth? Are the owners afraid that they’d be forced to pay other benefits to its players like other employers if they call themselves pros? Are the players afraid to register with GAB?
Is the MPBL relying on Manny Pacquiao to be able to defy GAB?
That’s just sad. Remember, the rest of the amateur leagues are pretty much conforming with the IATF ruling, and here you have the most famous “amateur” league in the country trying to defy it.
In an environment where a lot of quarantine violators got away with almost anything because they are in power while ordinary folks languish in jail for the same violation, that’s just sad.
Well, if Debold Sinas can have his quarantine birthday, then MPBL can resume its amateur season, right?
It shouldn’t be the case, and the solution is very simple.
Turn pro. It talks like a duck, walks like a duck and definitely looks like a duck. It’s a damn pro league.
But why is the MPBL ducking GAB?