The Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup Playoffs will resume on March 5 in Subic after it was given clearance by the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Although the MPBL isn’t a professional league, it was given the green light to stage Game 3 of the North and South Division Finals as well as the National Finals, thanks to a circular that will be released by the Department of Health. This memorandum indicates that training and competitions must be staged inside a bubble that is situated in a low-risk area or under modified general community quarantine. Also, a national government agency must sponsor the endeavor.
In the MPBL’s case, that agency is the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority that’s giving its support to the league founded by boxing legend and Senator Manny Pacquiao. However, the league must still produce protocols that comply with the minimum health standards.
The memorandum also determined that only 100 individuals would be inside the bubble and everyone must stay inside for at least 14 days to complete the quarantine cycle.
GAB chairman Baham Mitra expressed his excitement for this new development as it can help open the doors for other “semi-pro” leagues to move forward with their activities.
“We thank the IATF for allowing the resumption of non-professional sports competitions in areas under MGCQ. We hope that all other leagues shall be given the same support and approval to help all Filipino athletes and their families sustain their livelihood during these trying times,” said Mitra.
“We would also like to call for solidarity and ask other sports leagues, whether professional or non-professional, to continually comply with the health and safety guidelines in order to avoid the possible transmission of COVID-19, as this fight is not only ours but of the entire sports community.” (JNP)