MPBL Commissioner to players: ‘Just be strong mentally’

Jonas N. Panerio

IT’S going to be a very long wait between today and the opening of the next season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).

The league announced last week that it was canceling the 2020-2021 season because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Until then, MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes made an impassioned plea to all of the league’s teams and players to keep their strengths up, in mind, body and spirit.

“Right now, it’s all new to everyone. We don’t know how to cope because we don’t know when all will be back to normal. Just be strong mentally. That’s what is most important,” said Duremdes during a recent podcast.

He said that the players would have no problem dealing with the physical aspect of not having basketball for a long while.

The mental aspect, however, is a whole different story. “Basketball players, I believe they’re athletic. Just a bit of conditioning and they’ll be back to their competitive form. But the crucial aspect is mental. Physically, just go jogging or work out a bit. But mentally, you have to be stronger at this point in time,” explained Duremdes.

With no basketball games to play or train for, Duremdes advised players to discover new things to do or even get a new business off the ground.

Amid the uncertainty surrounding the league and the sport itself, Duremdes assured the players that once everything gets back to normal, their wait will not be in vain.

“Don’t think that you’re losing hope. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”