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Fans’ corner: Why reconsidering ‘ex-pros’ rule is a win-win solution for MPBL

IT’S a fact that the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup is a professional league. It is also a fact that Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League has its set of rules with regards to ex-pros playing in the league. So technically, the MPBL is just reiterating, or should I say, flexing its standing rule about ex-pros.

The question is, is that good for the league and its players? Especially to those players who haven’t played yet in the PBA or ABL.

Under the MPBL rules, teams are allowed to name only seven ex-pros in their lineups, with only five allowed to play per game.

With this rule in place, the league itself is somehow limiting players a means of livelihood. It is an indirect way of saying “you choose between playing in their league or ours.” It is a bold move of flexing its muscle to the players and the teams.

And you know what makes the move more questionable? Its timing and specificity.

The memo was released in light of the Basilan Steel joining the Super Cup and have they forgot that the National Basketball League is also a professional league? Why only mention Vismin Super Cup?

Currently, the core of two MPBL teams have already joined the Super Cup, the Basilan Steel (will be known as Basilan Peace Makers) and Valenzuela (will be known as MJAS Zenith Talisay Aquastars).

Ratifying the rule to only tag as ex-pros those players coming from the PBA and ABL is a win-win solution. First, they will not limit the players. Second, the players themselves can make a living out of joining these tournaments while the MPBL is not having its season. Third, the players can enhance themselves individually and thus can equate to a more competitive atmosphere once they join the MPBL again. Lastly, and most important, the league may finally touch the hearts of basketball fans after one controversy after another blasted the league since they resumed action few weeks ago.

To quote coach Mike Reyes of KCS Mandaue, “mas mamahalin sila ng mga tao”. He spoke this as we discussed the MPBL and VisMin Super Cup ex-pro tag saga in the latest episode of Basketball Republic’s Breaking Point.

To be fair to MPBL, that rule has already been in place since the start of the league and it was imposed to assure parity within the teams as we all know that players from the pro-leagues of PBA and ABL are the best of the best basketball talents in town. However, we need to take into consideration that it is not the case with the newly approved pro-league of VisMin Super Cup and even the National Basketball League.

The leagues may be on the same cage, but they are totally different beasts.

MPBL Founder and CEO Manny Pacquiao is also a known personality in helping his Kababayan.

Hopefully, he will take the good stand for the betterment of the players, his ‘Kababayan’. And actually, to think of it, will there be any benefit from the MPBL imposing the rule to the players of VisMin?

In this time of pandemic and uncertainty, and especially for those players whose main source of living has been affected, what we need now from the leagues is unity. Set aside the competition and make the players’ welfare its main agenda.

Surely, the league that will do this will be loved by fans. After all, we, Filipinos, simply have the heart for those who gave a helping hand and turn away our attraction from those who make things worse.


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