MPBL marks return with invitational tiff

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is hosting an invitational tournament, which will set the tone for the 2022 regular season.

The tournament will feature 22 teams that will be staged on December 11 to 21, likely at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said the league will be doing things step by step, hoping everything finally normalizes by next year when it gets to kick off its 2022-2023 season during its traditional June 12 opener.

A long pre-season is in the pipeline shortly after the Invitationals, and then after a short break, will go on with the opening of the season proper. This comes after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.

"Tuloy-tuloy na 'yan, dahil nare-reignite na natin 'yung MPBL," said Duremdes during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, November 16.

"Basta 'yung mga players mag-ready lang sila dahil may mga naka-plano na ang MPBL by 2022."

(It's going to continue moving forward because the MPBL has been reignited. The players should just get ready because there are plans for the MPBL in 2022.)

Duremdes said the tournament will be a short one to be played under a FIBA-style format.

The league is eyeing the Mall of Asia Arena as its venue and hopes to get a TV coveror to air the games.

"Short tournament lang siya. FIBA-style talaga, five games a day, start ng 9 am onwards. (The tournament is just short. It's FIBA style, so there will be five games a day)," said the PBA great turned league official

"So it's a single round-robin with teams divided into four groups. Then top two in each group advance in the playoffs, and it's the knockout stage already."

Duremdes added FIBA is also monitoring the short tournament that will be MPBL's first since deciding to turn pro and be under the supervision of the Games and Amusement Board.

All players should be fully vaccinated, according to Duremdes, while the tournament will be held under a closed-circuit system. – Rappler.com