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MPBL eyes games in 'bubble' 

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The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is studying the completion of its third season inside a bubble.

Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said on Tuesday that the regional league will take a look at the bubble the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is planning before making its next step.

"Tinitignan namin ang (We are looking at the) PBA 'coz they have to lead us," the PBA legend said during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

With only four teams left in the title race, which will be quickly trimmed to two, Duremdes believes setting the MPBL bubble should be "easy for us".

"Mas madali siyang i-control, but kailangan pa rin ng safety protocols (It is easier to control, but safety protocols are still needed)," he added, pertaining to the guidelines that will be set amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The MPBL announced on March 12 that the postponement of the season remains due to the pandemic.

Prior to the suspension, Davao Occidental and Makati beat Basilan and San Juan, respectively, in Game 2 of the division finals, sending the two best-of-three series to sudden death.

The winners of the rubber matches in the national semifinals will then face off in the best-of-five finals, meaning only five to seven games will be played inside the planned MPBL bubble.

Duremdes said that the MPBL, which is not under the sanction of the Games and Amusements Board, is just awaiting an official word from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for it to resume the practices and eventually hold the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Duremdes bared three candidates for the venue of the bubble, namely the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, an undisclosed location in Subic, and the rest house of Former President Erap Estrada in Tanay.

Interestingly, Quezon City and Subic are also being eyed as venues for the PBA bubble, although Commissioner Willie Marcial said that a shortlist of three undisclosed locations was already put up.

Regarding the live viewing of the games, Duremdes said the MPBL bubble will be streamed live on the league's Facebook page since ABSCBN, the lead broadcaster of the games is currently off the air due to the denial of its request for a fresh franchise. 

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