THE Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) just concluded its fifth season but league officials are already looking forward to the next one.
Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said MPBL founder Manny Pacquiao is now thinking of ways on how to maintain or even exceed the success gained in the recent season.
The MPBL intends to open its sixth season in March as Pampanga Giant Lanterns emerged as the new national champion following a 3-0 sweep of the Bacoor Strikers in the finals over the weekend.
“Senator Pacquiao called for a meeting right after the championship and while Pampanga was celebrating, we were at his house where he told us that he’s excited over the growth and success of the league,” Duremdes told Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the conference hall of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
“And he wants to plan early for the next season,” he said.
“Pampanga was a dominant force in the playoffs and emerged as the first team to sweep the finals,” said Duremdes, adding that the Lanterns are also the fifth different national champion in five seasons of the league.
Batangas was the inaugural champion followed by San Juan, Davao Occidental and Nueva Ecija.
“The MPBL is an unpredictable league, no dominant teams,” he said in the forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Philippine Sports Commission, Milo, Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
“No team has won back-to-back, but now, Pampanga’s become the barometer,” he said. “And that’s the most exciting part of the MPBL, you don’t know who’s going to be champion.”