By Kristel Satumbaga

Organizers of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League announced Monday the suspension of its 2020-2021 season in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that froze almost all sporting events across the globe this year.

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MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes (photo from MPBL Facebook)

In a written announcement addressed to all teams, Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said the remaining semifinal games and the final series of the Lakan Season will proceed once contact sports is allowed, but the next tournament will be held on June 12, 2021.

The continuation of the halted Lakan Season will observe quarantine protocols.

“All these remaining games shall be held in one venue with no audience, and players for the teams involved as well as their officials shall be quarantined in one facility throughout the series,” Duremdes said in the statement.

He added that once government allows contact sports within the year, the league will host a protracted preseason tournament where teams can join to prepare for the next season.

The preseason event, however, will be optional.

Duremdes also advised that no leave of absence will be allowed for any team during the 2021-2022 season. He also instructed teams to give allowances of at least 20 percent to their existing contract players.

Last April, the league said it will open the season on June 12. But contact sports are still forbidden at the moment despite eased quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila, prompting to the season cancellation.

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