New expanded MPBL season could last 11 months, says operations head

SOUTH COTABATO — With 25 teams seeing action for the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, the fastest growing regional basketball event will also have to embrace a prolonged season.

Zaldy Realubit, head of operations, told FOX Sports Philippines that the MPBL’s new season where teams are going to have 24 games each (if the initial plan is going to push through), would mean nearly a year long of basketball competitions, which could also mean more game days to be aired.

“Kung susundin yung single round eliminations, 24 games lahat, magi-end yung eliminations ng April,” said Realubit in an exclusive interview. “Then, playoffs, so it could end mga around May. Wala pa rito yung mga cancellation of games dahil sa bagyo.”

League participation is expected to go up this weekend with the participation of Basilan.

As teams are bracing for a longer season, it will also be a challenge for coaches to plan carefully and preserve their players for the tough grind.

Which is why it is ideal for the league’s set up of having 18 players on its roster — 15 of them can play anytime.

League officials will meet with the team members next week to discuss the plans for next season.

Another challenge will be the schedule as additional game days will be needed now that the teams have bloated to 25 more than doubling the 10 founding squads that started participation in February of this year.

The MPBL has regular play dates every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but is also planning to include one or two more game days for the coming season.