MPBL kicks off today

April 25, 2022 People's Tonight 324 views

THE MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) returns to the country’s sports scene with its fourth season starting today (Monday) at the Batangas City Coliseum.

Inaugural champion Batangas City tangles with Imus City in the nightcap at 9:30, following the 6:30 opener between Valenzuela City and Sarangani Province.

An opening program featuring the parade of the competing teams with their muses will be held in-between the games with Senator Manny Pacquiao, chairman and founder of the country’s top regional league, and bigwigs of Cignal, the MPBL’s broadcast partner, gracing the occasion.

Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes heads the MPBL officials in attendance with operations head Emmer Oreta and league coordinator Joe Ramos.

Now known as Batangas City Embassy Chill, the Batanguenos, formerly the Batangas-Tanduay Athletics, will be led by former Makati stars Jeckster Apinan, Juneric Baloria and Rudy Linganay along with proven scorers Levi Hernandez, John Ambulodto and Ralf Olivares.

Imus should be no pushover, however, with seasoned players Allan Mangahas, Leo Najorda, Adrian Celada, Genmar Bragais and Rene Pacquiao joining homegrown stars Ian Melencio and Jessie Saitanan in the fold.

Not to be left behind, Valenzuela, being supported by XUR Homes Realty Inc., acquired the services of outside gunner Patrick Cabahug, inside operator Felix Apreku and 6-foot-5 centers Kevin Rey Villafranca and Reeve Ugsay.

Sarangani has also bolstered its roster with Gabby Espinas, Paul Sanga, Andy Estrella, Regie Boy Basibas, Yvan Ludovice and 6-foot-6 Jon Gabriel.

The next playdate will be on May 2 with Datu Cup champion San Juan battling Bacolod and Nueva Ecija facing Pasig Sta. Lucia in a venue yet to be announced.

The MPBL will then take a break in deference to the May 9 elections and will resume on May 14, according to Duremdes.

Other teams confirmed to participate are Pampanga, Bataan, Makati, Manila, Zamboanga, General Santos City, Rizal Province, Caloocan and Marikina.

At least 3 teams have requested an extension to complete their lineups and their fate will be known today.

In addition to One Ph, which is available to Cignal TV’s 4 million subscribers, the MPBL games can also be viewed in the United States, Canada and the Middle East through the Kapatid Channel.