Sports

MPBL to hold 22-team tournament at MOA Arena to kick off return


FILE -- MPBL game between San Juan and Davao Occidental.

FILE — MPBL game between San Juan and Davao Occidental. MPBL PHOTO

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) hopes to set things off with its upcoming Invitational Tournament as it plans to return to its usual calendar year next year for its 2022-23 season.

“We’re reigniting the MPBL and it’s just the start,” said MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes in Filipino on Tuesday during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum

“But the players need to be ready because the MPBL already has plans for 2022.”

For now, the league has the Invitationals, which feature 22 teams, set from December 11 to 21.

The tournament, which could take place at Mall of Asia Arena under a closed-circuit setup, will follow the blueprint of Fiba.

“It’s going to be a short tournament. Fiba-style, five games a day which starts at 9 a.m. onwards,” he said.

“So it’s a single round robin with teams divided into four groups. Then top two in each group advance in the playoffs, where everything it’s going to be a knockout stage.”

Duremdes also said Fiba will be monitoring the tournament, which marks MPBL’s first as a professional league.

“Fiba will be watching this. They’re going to look how we run a league,” said Duremdes, who added that only fully vaccinated players are allowed to suit up.

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