|Two years after wrapping up his PBA stint, Manny Victorino got to play in the MBA and witnessed the mismanagement that eventually led to its demise.|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—The Philippines now has another regional league that is formally certified as pro in the NBL.
But if the said league and even the more popular yet still not Games and Amusements Board-sanctioned MPBL want to stay in the long run, they may need to listen from former MBA star Manny Victorino.
The six-foot-five center, who after an illustrious career in the PBA played for the Cagayan De Oro Amigos, then known as the Nuggets, in the MBA's inaugural season in 1998 and the Surigao Miners a year later, shared how the MBA, despite all its potentials, folded after just five seasons.
In an interview on Sunday, which was aired in the Sports on Air Podcast on Thursday night, Victorino revealed one key factor that eventually led to the league's downfall.
"Yung corrupt system sa MBA, malakas eh kasi maraming pera sa MBA noon," Victorino bared.
He added that it would not happened if the league's management stepped up to control the situation.
"Kung magaling lang ang nag-manage, maganda [sana ang MBA] dahil malawak ang competition," Victorino further said.
He then quipped, "Unang-una, yung nagpapalakad, walang sistema. Pangalawa, yung pag-gastos. Pangatlo, hindi alam kung paano gagamitin yung pera pag nandoon na."
While the MPBL is seemingly correcting the mistakes the MBA made, Victorino believes the game fixing instances that are still underlying could pose as a threat to the MPBL's longetivity.
"Naririnig ko, marami pa ring naghuhulog. May mga sistema na hindi maganda na maaaring makasira ng imahe ng basketball," he added.
The prevalent point shaving schemes in the MPBL went full blown when the SOCCSKSARGEN Marlins were probed and eventually slapped with game fixing charges.
[Related Story: Pacquiao files game fixing raps to 21 people]
Good thing for MPBL owner Manny Pacquiao, according to Victorino, he has advisers who are helping him run the league.
"Kung mabibigyan pa ng importansya yung liga ni Sen. Manny Pacquiao, palagay ko may pupuntahan yun," Victorino further said.
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