Limpag: Strange move by MPBL

Mike T. Limpag
·2 min read

WHEN the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) started a couple of years ago, it prided itself as the league that offers players a chance to pursue a career in basketball outside the PBA. It also hoped to bring top-tier basketball to the community.

That it grew from an initial 11 teams to 31 at its peak showed it was successfull in both goals.

Why then in the name of logic is it trying to kill another league that isn’t even considered its competition?

The Vis-Min Cup is set to start in a few days’ time in Alcantara and MPBL, when prodded by the Games and Amusements Board said it is still an amateur league, said any MPBL players who will join the Vis-Min Cup will be considered ex-pros should they return for a stint in the MPBL.

The Vis-Min Cup doesn’t have a Manny Pacquiao backing it, nor does it run for 10 months as the MPBL does before Covid. Heck, it’s on its first conference. Why is the MPBL hell-bent on jeopardizing this pocket tournament?

Oh, by the way, what’s the significance of the ruling? Since the MPBL pretends to be an amateur league, a team is limited to only seven ex-pros and can field only five at a time. Meaning, basketball guys who thought they were lucky to find a place in the Vis-Min Cup given the limited options are most likely to find limited options once the Vis-Min Cup season ends.

It’s a lose-lose situation for them.

It’s kind of ironic for a league whose founder loves to portray himself as a guy who just loves to give other guys opportunities and is quick to open his wallet to guys in need.

But the latest move belies that.

And that gives me hope.

The people involved in the MPBL—players, coaches, staff and referees—just want a chance after almost two years to earn for their families from basketball. No one should begrudge them for that. I know Manny Pacquiao wouldn’t.

Would the MPBL suffer if its players play for other leagues when there are no MBPL games?

I hope the MPBL reconsiders. A move such as this would be easily resolved if they just open communication lines. The pay-for-play world of Philippine basketball is small; everyone knows everyone else.

If the MPBL is worried about semantics, it musn’t blame the Vis-Min Cup. The newbie merely followed the GAB rule that if you pay for play, then you’re a pro league.

There’s no need to close doors on players who merely want opportunities.