Nueva Ecija team owner Bong Cuevas believes the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League has kept its foothold as the hotbed of hoops from all over the country.
He had seen the MPBL’s rapid growth from being a start-up league five years ago to becoming the nation’s favorite past time.
Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, different cities and provinces, the MPBL has become a basketball haven as players would go all out as if the stakes are higher every game.
And even the fans will be deeply involved as they would go out and support to pack the local venues and cheer on their favorite teams.
The MPBL has the perfect recipe for the kind of basketball brand every Pinoy hoop fan had envisioned – fast, rugged, exciting and unpredictable – you could tell that any team can beat anybody.
A league for every Filipino, that’s what the MPBL is being called, and its success can be measured simply by looking at the games.
How long can the league be able to sustain it is another question and Cuevas is hoping that they can all come together in making sure that the league is here to stay.
“We’ve seen the league’s success,” said Cuevas, whose squad is the defending national champion. “There are teams which didn’t have a sponsor our strong company backing, yet they were so happy because of the reception they received and the impact that they get each time they play at home.”
On top of the sustainability, Cuevas likewise called on his fellow team owners to keep the integrity of the league.
He wants all the league to be on a look out – to safeguard the league from helping screen fly-by-night operators entering the MPBL.
In the past, the MPBL had its share of troubles dealing with team operators, who could not maintain the league or would simply create a franchise and put it on lease.
Teams that are entering the league should be thoroughly screened before being accepted and make sure that they adhere to the same vision of putting up a competitive team, whose objective is to win and make the city/province proud.
“They’re carrying the province or the city in the same way that they are embraced as heroes by their local folks,” added Cuevas. “These players are not just professional players, but likewise representatives of the city or province competing in the MPBL.”
In the end, Cuevas is a firm believer of the product – that is the games being played in the MPBL, making the league so endeared to the true basketball-loving Filipinos whichever part of the country they are.