MPBL welcomes five new teams
The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup fires away on ABS-CBN S+A this Independence Day (June 12) LIVE from the Mall of Asia Arena (MOA) starting with the opening ceremonies at 4:30 pm.
The fast-rising league, which is now on its third season, will offer a double-header on opening day featuring the Basilan Steel versus newcomer Bicol Volcanoes at 6 pm to be followed by the Davao Occidental Tigers match against the Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines at 8 pm.
For the MPBL Lakan Cup, a total of 31 teams are competing including newcomers Nueva Ecija, Bicol, and Mindoro from Luzon, Iloilo for Visayas, and Sarangani from Mindanao. Mandaluyong El-Tigre, meanwhile, will be on leave this year.
The last two years saw the meteoric rise of the MPBL, dubbed the “Liga Ng Bawat Pilipino,” with teams representing Filipino towns or provinces, and featuring homegrown and undiscovered talents in basketball. Its home and away format has been a hit among basketball fans, who would fill stadiums and coliseums to show support for their home squads and favorite athletes.
The athletes themselves are all in on the league and its fans. “It’s different when we get to represent our respective hometowns, as a homegrown player myself for Bacoor, our cities. There’s more at stake with the fans filling up the arena and cheering for us,” shared Datu Cup MVP Gab Banal of the Bacoor Strikers.
For Arvin Tolentino, who graduated from the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and will now play for the Batangas Athletics, it will be another step in trying to improve as a player. “I’m looking at the MPBL as a means to improve myself and to go up against the players I used to watch on TV, or played against, like Alvin Pasaol,” the Batangas swingman said in an interview.
Eloy Poligrates, the electric showman and local basketball hero for Cebu, says that the MPBL is a league where you can determine who can really play basketball at a high level. “The MPBL is a venue for real players to get their talents showcased, and to really find out if you have what it takes to play with the big boys,” said Poligrates.
This season, more Filipinos will be able to witness the action-packed and passion-fueled games of the MPBL as matches will be shown daily on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD LIVE from Monday to Saturday. Moreover, it will also air LIVE every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on LIGA and LIGA HD starting June 18. All games will be available via livestream and video on demand on iWant and TFC Online (www.tfc.tv
Catch the season opener of the MPBL Lakan Cup, which coincides with the Philippine Independence Day, this June 12 on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, iWant Sports, and TFC. Basilan and Bicol play on opening night LIVE at 6 pm, followed by the Davao-Zamboanga tiff at 8 pm from the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
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