Several players of the upcoming Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup are hoping that the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) would reconsider their stand on player classification, especially during this pandemic-ravaged time that has dwindled playing opportunities for players all over the country.
With the VisMin Super Cup slated to tip off on Friday, April 9, the MPBL recently released a memo stating that players seeing action in the VisMin Cup, which is a pro league, would be governed by the MPBL rule that states a team can have just seven ex-pros on its roster, with only five being allowed to play.
The enforcement of this rule would severely limit playing opportunities for a lot of people who are trying to make a living from playing basketball.
“Nakakalungkot yung lumabas na memo ng MPBL kasi maaapektohan kami mga players. Pero wala tayong magagawa kung anong decision talaga ng MPBL. Para sa akin, grab ko nalang yung opportunity na binigay ni God sakin ngayon. Focus nalang muna ako dito sa VisMin kasi as a player and galing pa sa pandemic kung anong meron na pagkakakitaan ngayon, grab ko na to feed my family. Basta ako, as of now, focus nalang muna ako sa VisMin kasi ito yung nagbibigay nga income ko ngayon eh,” said Cebuano guard Joseph Nalos, the standout guard of the KCS Computer Specialists-Mandaue squad.
James Regalado, the former ace of the University of San Jose-Recoletos, who is set to suit up for his hometown Dumaguete City Warriors, echoed Nalos’ statements, saying he needs to make a living and playing in leagues like the VisMin Super Cup is his best way of providing for his family.
“Nakalitan jud ko pero wala naman ta mabuhat kay ilaha man na desisyon pero sa panahon karon pandemya, kelangan jud kwarta. Mao kung unsa naa sa atubangan namo, grab lang jud nako,” said Regalado, who used to play for Rizal in the MPBL.
The VisMin Super Cup’s secretary general Marvin Caro explained that they are not trying to compete with any other league in the country. Rather, they are just trying to provide players, coaches, and other basketball personnel with means to make a good living during these trying times.
“Isa raman jud amo purpose ani nga liga—to help players, coaches, referees and utility personnel kay daghan jud kaayo nawad-an ug work. Wala man mi nakig-competensya sa uban liga. Pasalamat gani mi na gisugtan mi na makastart para makatabang ta sa mga nanginahanglan,” said Caro.
Former Cesafi MVP Shaquille Imperial is hoping that the MPBL, specifically its founder, Senator Manny Pacquiao, would reconsider its stand on player classification so that players like him could one day suit up in the semi-pro league.
“Isa sa ako goal is makaduwa and maka-experience sa MPBL and ganahan ko mubalik sa Manila labi na dili nako maka dula sa Cesafi ron tungod sa pandemic,” shared the former star of the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras who is now playing for KCS. “Hopefully, naay changes about sa MPBL para makaduwa ko. Dako kaayug tabang ang MPBL na liga sa akoa. If wala na jud, mangapply ko og hotel and mutrabaho nalang ko sa Cebu.”
MJAS Zenith-Talisay City big man Reeve Ugsang and Dumaguete guard Jaybie Mantilla are also hoping that Pacquiao would look into MPBL’s ruling to help basketball players like them.
“I hope muabot ni nga issue ni Senator Manny Pacquaio og ilaha i-reconsider ang ila desisyon para matabangan pud unta ang mga players nga nagkalisod pud tungod sa pandemic,” said Ugsang.
“Kami mga players nangita ra sad baya mi ug income kay usually sa amoa, mao na jud baya ni among panginabuhi—ang basketball. I hope lang jud ma-review ug balik ni Senator Manny Pacquiao ang memo and iyang paminawon kami mga players and I hope mausab pa,” said Mantilla, the one-time Cesafi MVP. (JNP)