The champion of the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational will have a very Merry Christmas.
That’s because the winner of the 22-team tournament set December 11 to 23 is going to receive a P2 million bonanza, courtesy of Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas, and Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League COO and founder Senator Manny Pacquiao.
The participating teams of the event set to reignite the country’s top regional league were divided into four groups, with the San Juan Knights and Jumbo Plastics-Basilan seeded as top teams in Group C and B, respectively.
Joining the Go for Gold-backed Knights, the Datu Cup champions, are the Marc Pingris-led Nueva Ecija Vanguards, Sarangani Marlins, Valenzuela, and Muntinlupa.
Bracketed with Basilan, winner of the first conference of the Vis-Min Super Cup, are Laguna Krah Asia, Marikina Shoe City, Makati, and Bicol.
In Group A are Caloocan Excellence, Pasig, and neighbor teams Bacolod, Iloilo, and league newcomer Negros Muscovados.
Completing the field are Manila Stars, Rizal Xentromall, Imus Bandera, GenSan Warriors, Mindoro EOG Sprots, and Bulacan in Group D.
MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdres did the drawing of lots on Friday, November 26 at the Crowne Plaza Ruby ballroom.
“This is not just a simple restart, we wanted our league to be at par with the best of the world,” said Mascariñas, noting that the event will apply FIBA International Basketball Federation rules.
Ever-generous, Mascariñas also announced that the second placer is going to receive P500,000 and the third placer P250,000.
Duremdes thanked Mascariñas and the Chooks-to-Go group for their full support of the league’s return after it took a long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Owing to the big field, five games, starting at 9 am will be held each day of the eliminations at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Select games starting the eliminations will be aired live. – Rappler.com