The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League – Anta Rajah Cup is just the maiden tournament, while the next one will be the start of the National Championship.
Senator Manny Pacquiao, the league’s founder, told FoxSports.ph confirmed that the tournament, which will start on June 12, will be the start of the whole season-long event of the fastest growing regional basketball league in the country.
This has prompted the senator to put up glamorous rewards, which include a trophy worth P10 million and a ball ring to every member of the squad that will be declared national champions.
“Next conference, yung trophy natin, 10 million yung halaga, plus ball ring. Well-prepared na tayo next conference. Magkakaroon tayo ng ring ceremony para sa magcha-champion. We’re planning to start June 12,” Pacquiao said.
The Independence Day opening of the MPBL will kick off the annual event and is expected to draw more participation.
So far, six expansion teams have signed up, joining the 10 founding members of the league.
San Juan, Pasig, Manila and Laguna, four cities from the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA), the precursor of the MPBL, have joined the league along with two more newcomers in Rizal and Makati.
They will join the original members – Batangas City, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Parañaque, Navotas, Imus, Bataan, Caloocan, Quezon City, and Bulacan.
Pacquiao is looking forward to a bigger staging of the next tournament.
“Itong conference na ito, parang pilot conference lang ito. Next conference, ‘yun ‘yung magkakaroon tayo ng MVP, Mythical and other individual awards. Tapos may tatanghalin na 2018 MPBL National Champion, plus ball ring, yung trophy nasa P9 to 10 million. Kapag naka-grand slam, three consecutive years na national champion, may cash prize rin. Yung magiging liga natin, once a year na. Patterned tayo sa NBA,” added Pacquiao.
Photo by: James Meneses