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Pangasinan, Abra to join MPBL; More ex-pros OKd

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A wild scramble for experienced talents is projected following the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s decision to relax its rules regarding the hiring of former pros by the teams competing in the MPBL’s 2024 Season starting on March 16.

Unlike last year, when each of the 29 teams was allowed to have only seven pros, now they can field as many as possible in their 22-man lineups. The only prohibitions are that only 15 can play each game and there should be at least three homegrown players in the roster.

Players from collegiate leagues like the UAAP and the NCAA can also be fielded provided they have SGL (Special Guest Licenses) from the Games and Amusements Board.

MPBL Founder Manny Pacquiao decided on the adjustments after the team owners’ of the country’s top regional cage league met recently.

Also announced was the acceptance of Pangasinan as the league’s newest franchise and the holding of a pre-season tournament in GenSan from Feb. 20-27 in conjunction with the city’s Kalinangan Festival.

Abra also beat the clock and will be joining the MPBL Sixth Season, according to Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes on Tuesday.

In line with the MPBL’s thrust to get rid of game-fixing, 47 players and team officials were issued red flags and were banned from the league.

Apart from Pacquiao and Duremdes, also present during the team owners’ meeting held at the Conrad Hotel were Executive Officer Joe Ramos and Operations Head Emmer Oreta.

The highly successful Fifth Season won by the Pampanga Giant Lanterns, saw the MPBL post a record reach of 35.5 million, gain nearly 33 million visits, notch 6 million content interactions, and register over a million followers on its Facebook page.


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