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ONE report yesterday said ?people behind the success of the Batangas Athletics-Tanduay in the MPBL Anta Rajah Cup never expected the team to go that far.?

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League is a regional men?s professional basketball tournament organized and launched by world boxing legend Manny Pacquiao last August.

Batangas bagged the MPBL Cup by winning 3-1 in its best-of-five title series against Muntinlupa Cagers-Angelis Resort.

Two sportsmen behind the Batangas team, former mayor Dondon Dimacuha and squad sponsor Lucio ?Bong? Tan Jr. were overjoyed. Dimacuha said they harbored no big expectations when they formed the Batangas team.

**

When the MPBL had its inaugural event last year, there was a grand opening with great attendance.

The league featured both a regional commercial and barangay level format. Teams on the commercial level were allowed to have a home locality in addition to a home sponsor.

Just the same, doubts were raised on how the MPBL could succeed relying heavily on faded former PBA pros.

**

There were those who thought Manny Paquiao had taken a blind gamble.

The initial success of the MPBL warmed the heart of Sen. Pacquiao, a dedicated basketball devotee.

Fans all over the country were happy and thankful in having what they believe will be a national league belonging to the loyal native players serving Pinoy Basketbol.

MPBL appears ready and willing to take in more available native talents, including those coming from obscure tournaments in the grassroots.

**

Sen. Pacquiao has decided to come up with a national league at a time when both the PBA and the national team, under the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), have been left at the mercy of imports and assorted alien participants.

Paquiao did not say it, but the MPBL must be his way of giving Philippine basketball back to the genuine Pinoy basketeer.

For the record, the rampant bastardization of Philippine basketball came about after the PBA decided to take-in a horde of Fil-Am players in the mid 90?s, following the formation of the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).

That knee-jerk reaction by the PBA has resulted in the unabated deterioration of Philippine basketball.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Recah Trinidad.


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