Pacquiao-backed basketball league to launch on September 23


Senator Manny Pacquiao is flanked by Maharlika basketball league commissioner Snow Badua (right) and assistant commissioner Satar Macantal, who announced the formation of the league. Handout photo

A new professional basketball league backed by Manny Pacquiao is set to launch next month. 

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) will tip off on September 23, with its 12-team roster all based in Luzon.

The league will use a home-and-away format, and require each club to have four homegrown players in its lineup.

Pacquiao, who at one point acted as player-coach for Kia in the PBA, said the league’s goal is to discover and develop grassroots talent.

Besides the main tournament, the league will also hold a simultaneous competition among the best barangay teams of the participating cities.

Teams from the provinces of Batangas, Bulacan, Laguna and Pampanga, have been confirmed as well as those in Makati, Marikina, Parañaque, Quezon City, San Juan.

Deals with teams that will represent Manila and Malabon are being finalized.

The league will have 5 conferences a season, and the team with the most conference wins will be called “Supremo Champion.” 

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top teams.

League operations head Zaldy Realubit said the league will not use imports and there won’t be an age limit, which suggests former pros can participate.

Games will be live-streamed as the league arranges a TV deal. — With a report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)

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