MPBL opens door to Mindoro

THERE will be significant changes in the coming season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League as new guidelines will be implemented while new teams will also join the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league in the country.

Starting June 12, teams can now get two Fil-foreign players and include them in their 20-man roster (15 to play). These Fil-foreign players, however, should not exceed the 6-foot-4 height limit.

Senator Manny Pacquiao, MPBL founder and chief executive officer, approved the idea of having an additional Fil-foreign players to heed to the demand of several member squads.

League commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, however clarified that these Fil-foreign players cannot play at the same time.

“Only one Fil-foreign player at a time,” said Duremdes, who also added that the league has approved the application of Mindoro to become the latest expansion squad.

Representatives from Mindoro, headed by Justin Tan, a member of La Salle Greenhills coaching staff in the NCAA, met with Senator Pacquiao during the team owners’ meeting held at the Century Park Hotel. Also in attendance is another aspirant from Iloilo, one of the two bidders for the city, represented by Norman Ramos.

Senator deferred from deciding on Iloilo’s behalf as Ramos awaits the decision of the Uygongco Family, his principal.

Mindoro is the newest team added this season after Bicol and Nueva Ecija, but the league is still awaiting developments on the Mandaluyong franchise expected to be taken over by new owners as well as the other bidder in the Iloilo franchise.

Senator Pacquiao had also given teams an option to increase their number of ex-pros from five to seven, but explained that only five of them can play in the game. This means that each squad can expand the number of roster from 20 to 22 with only 15 of them to play.