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NBL, 'Super Cup' players going back to MPBL to be called 'ex-pros' says Duremdes

The Valenzuela core of the Talisay squad is now considered as pros by the MPBL. Talisay Aquastars (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The MPBL reminded its players of the so-called "ex-pro" rule as many of them are jumping ships at least for the meantime to either the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup or the NBL.

In a memorandum released on Friday, MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said that due to the VisMin Super Cup and the NBL being declared as professional leagues, the "ex-pro" rule will also take effect for the said regional leagues like how the MPBL treats former PBA and ABL players.

"Any team or player who will participate in the forthcoming VisMin Super Cup Visayas leg or any other professional league shall be considered as professionals by [the] MPBL and therefore by playing in the MPBL future games they will be considered as ex-pros and thereby subject to the limitations set forth by the rules and by-laws of [the] MPBL," Duremdes said in the memorandum.

The MPBL has reiterated that it will remain as an amateur league.

According to MPBL rules, a team can only sign up a maximum of seven ex-pros with at most five allowed to suit up in a certain game.

The memorandum will heavily affect the cause of the Valenzuela Classic and the newly renamed Basilan Peace Riders.

Talisay signed up Valenzuela's core for its campaign in the VisMin Super Cup Visayas leg, which will begin next Friday in Alcantara, Cebu.

While it may not be a problem for the likes of Paulo Hubalde, Val Acuna, and Patrick Cabahug since they already played in the PBA and ABL before, the situation will hit the other Classic players like Jaymar Gimpayan and Mel Mabigat, who are making their pro debuts.

On the other hand, Basilan, formerly known as the Steel, will be joining the Mindanao leg in Dipolog next month and is expected to bring in its entire roster.

VisMin Super Cup COO Rocky Chan said last week that his league has reached a "compromise" with the MPBL regarding the ex-pros situation, but he did not reveal the details of the said compromise.

[Related Story: VisMin Super Cup, MPBL reach 'compromise' on players jumping ships says Rocky Chan]

Meanwhile, the Pampanga Giant Lanterns will be hit by this ruling as well as some of their key players have made the jump to the NBL.

Just as the league announced that it would push through with its national finals inside a bubble in San Fernando, Pampanga right after they turned pro last year, the Pampanga Delta, the de facto bubble hosts, shored up their lineup by signing Giant Lanterns Michael Juico, Levi Hernandez, Allen Enriquez, and Dexter Maiquez.

The Delta would go on to beat the La Union Paower to capture the NBL title.

Recently, Reil Cervantes, who also played for the Giant Lanterns last MPBL season, was signed by the CamSur Express for the upcoming NBL season.

A joint administrative order by the Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board, and the Department of Health only clears pro sports to resume play in low risk areas, which would have barred the MPBL from resuming amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The JAO prompted the NBL to turn pro and the VisMin Super Cup to declare themselves as pro for its inaugural season.

However, a DOH circular cleared the MPBL to hold a bubble in Subic last month to finish their long postponed Lakan Season.

The MPBL looks to open its fourth season on a traditional note, that is, on June 12.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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