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Rising COVID-19 cases prompt Duremdes to postpone MPBL Season 4

Kenneth Duremdes is putting a premium on the current COVID-19 situation leading to the MPBL Season 4 postponement. MPBL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The concerns regarding the number of COVID-19 cases being added every day led to Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes' decision not to push through with the 2020-2021 MPBL season.

As revealed in the CPT Crossover podcast by Cedelf Tupas on Wednesday, the PBA legend said that following a discussion with league founder Manny Pacquiao, it is fitting that the fourth season of the regional league will be pushed a year further.

"Everyday, tumataas yung mga nagkakaroon ng virus," Duremdes explained.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, the number of validated cases that were tested positive for COVID-19 is at 18,997.

Duremdes, however, admitted that he was still keen on pushing through with the fourth season of the MPBL, which only had its start initially pushed back, in hopes that the pandemic will soften in the Philippines.

But following a consultation with the member clubs, Duremdes resolved that having Season 4 in the 2021-2022 span is the best option right now.

"Based sa comments ng mga teams, nakita rin natin na some of them are hesitant or ayaw talaga dahil for them, sinasabi nila na no vaccine no play sa ngayon, so we understand.... The safest way is antayin na lang natin yung vaccine," he continued.

While many countries are rushing to find a cure to COVID-19, the soonest possible date for a vaccine to be released commercially is only in September, and it is earlier projected that it may only come by early next year.

Meanwhile, regarding the plans to finish the Lakan Season playoffs, Duremdes remains firm that the Game 3's of the division finals and the best-of-five national finals will be held in only one neutral arena.

"May mga hotels around it, para safe lahat. Madali i-quarantine and madali siyang mabantayan in short. And we have to check the guidelines talaga truly and properly. Aside from that, kailangan mo ng medical experts diyan. Kailangan mo ng clearance sa DOH, anong guidelines nila, anong guidelines ng IATF, anong requirements nung LGU na magho-host so yung liga marami pang titignan ‘yan," he bared what are needed so that the league can push through with the rubber matches of the San Juan-Makati and the Davao Occidental-Basilan series and the championship series between the winners of the said contests.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno