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Despite long break, MPBL commish Duremdes assures: 'We’re going to finish the season'

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, second from left, assured the fans that the league will resume play right after the lockdown has been lifted. MPBL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes made an assurance to everyone who is following the league that the climax of the currently postponed Lakan Season will continue on.

"We’re going to finish the season," the PBA legend said on Wednesday.

Both the two divisional finals, the North finals series between San Juan and Makati and the South finals encounter between Davao Occidental and Basilan, were supposed to be heading to rubber matches after Makati and Davao Occidental bounced back in their respective Game 2's on March 11 on the road in San Juan City and Lamitan respectively.

But the day later, Duremdes announced the postponement of the scheduled Game 3's that were supposed to take place the following day, just before President Rodrigo Duterte put Metro Manila--and eventually the entire Luzon--under what would become an enhanced community quarantine.

The Knights, who have homecourt advantage but were forced to hold Game 2 at their own turf, the FilOil Flying V Centre, due to the unavailability of the Makati Coliseum, were scheduled to host the Skyscrapers one more time for the North title.

Meanwhile, the Tigers, who virtually regained homecourt edge over the Steel after taking Game 2 in Lamitan after shockingly dropping Game 1 in Tagum, were to host Game 3 at the Rizal Memorial Colleges-Petro Gazz Arena in Davao City.

But even if the lockdown will be lifted or at least softened come May, Duremdes said that there are still some things to do before the MPBL can finally resume play.

“First, we need to advise the four teams involved since they are all coming from inactivity and the players need to get back in shape. Then we need to consider the stand of the LGU's (local government units),” Duremdes bared the next plans of action, adding that the league will also look at when the travels, hotels, restaurants, and the arenas will reopen fully.

He, however, clarified, "We can play as soon as the ECQ is lifted."

But the likeliest scenario, according to Duremdes, is that both Game 3's and even the entire best-of-five national finals will be played behind closed doors like how Game 2 of the Makati-San Juan series took place.

In conclusion, he hopes that "the situation brightens up."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno