MANILA, Philippines — Philippine basketball fans will be in for a treat once quarantine restrictions ease as sports patron and business man Ronald Mascarinas announced a first of its kind "Champions League" among regional basketball tournaments in the country.
Mascarinas, who backs several hoops tournaments like the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), the National Basketball League (NBL), and the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup through Chooks-to-Go, said Saturday during a press conference that they plan on bringing top talents from each of the leagues to a star-studded tournament that pits elite teams against each other.
"Once quarantine restrictions are eased, we will launch the Champions League where the top teams from each of the three leagues will compete to be the national champion at magiging pinaka-matikas na manok ng bayan," said Mascarinas.
The sports patron alluded to clamor of the fans to see a more united basketball scene in the country, which gave birth to the idea of the inter-league competition.
"We will keep our ears close to the ground to figure out what our fans want and will continue to innovate for them," said Mascarinas.
"After all, we are doing this primarily for the fans. Today, we sat together for Philippine basketball and the basketball fans," he added.
Mascarinas made the announcement with executives of the MPBL, NBL and VisMin Super Cup all present.
They all welcomed the innovation, and look forward to what the league would bring for Philippine basketball.
"We're excited about this, MPBL is very excited about the Champions League and of course, this is something new that, again, fans of Philippine basketball look forward to," said MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.
"Ito na, totoong magsasama-sama na ang mga basketball stakeholders regionally and dun natin makikita ang pinakamagaling na teams, players sa Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, we're very very supportive of it, 101 percent," said Rocky Chan, COO of the VisMin Super Cup.
"Makikita natin yung tatlong liga, lalabas yung talent ng mga players sa pagsali sa Champions League," said NBL Commissioner John Edward Aquino.
Before the Champions League tips off, however, the respective leagues are set to resume hostilities this year with plans to stage their respective seasons in the coming weeks.
The MPBL, for its part, said that they are planning to hold the Mumbaki Cup in September of this year, after more than one year of hiatus.
The NBL, meanwhile, will be in sync with its women's hoops counterpart WNBL to tip off their league by July 3 in MGCQ venues.
Closest to begin is the Mindanao leg of the inaugural Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup which will be hosted by Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur which is expected to begin on June 22.
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