Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2023 MPBL season
|Founded||August 29, 2017|
|Motto||Ang Liga Ng Bawat Pilipino |
(The League of Every Filipino)
|No. of teams||29|
|Continent||FIBA Asia (Asia)|
|Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards |
|Most titles||4 teams |
(1 title each)
|TV partner(s)||One Sports |
Media Pilipinas TV
The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is a men's professional developmental basketball league in the Philippines consisting of 29 teams.
The league was launched on August 29, 2017 by Manny Pacquiao, originally as a semi-professional league. According to Pacquiao, the league is not intended to be a competitor to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the country's top professional basketball league. The MPBL was intended to feature both the regional commercial and barangay-level league, with teams on the commercial side to have a home locality in addition to a corporate sponsor. The league was given professional status on December 9, 2022.
Five different teams have won the league championship, with the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards being the current defending champions, beating the Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines 3-1 in the 2022 MPBL Finals.
First seasons (2018–2021)
During its first year, the league hosted teams from Luzon with future plans to expand to accommodate teams based in Visayas and Mindanao like the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association. It was planned that an expanded MPBL will have two conferences, North and South, where the best teams from both divisions will face in the finals similar to the format of the National Basketball Association of the United States.
The league was planned to start as early as September 23, 2017 with at least six teams. A pre-season was held with the Bulacan Kuyas finishing as champions.
The MPBL began its first season on January 25, 2018, and included ten teams, all based in Luzon. In the opening game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, the Parañaque Patriots secured a 70–60 victory over the Caloocan Supremos. The Batangas City Athletics were crowned as the league's inaugural champions when they defeated the Muntinlupa Cagers in the 2018 MPBL Finals.
For the 2018–19 season, the MPBL had expanded to 26 teams, adding 16 expansion teams to the league. After ten expansion teams from Luzon were admitted into the league, it closed its doors so that it could leave room for future Visayas and Mindanao teams. This drastic increase led to the addition of the aforementioned North and South Divisions. The league also placed roster restrictions on teams, only allowing one Filipino-foreigner and up to five ex-professional players. The San Juan Knights then became the 2019 champions, beating the Davao Occidental Tigers.
The 2019–20 season featured a record-high 31 teams participating in the league, adding six expansion teams. Roster restrictions were also relaxed, allowing more Filipino-foreigners and ex-professional players to play in the league. In December 2019, Chooks-to-Go of Bounty Agro Ventures became the title sponsor of the league under a five-year deal. The season was postponed on March 12, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after the second game of the Divisional Finals. Nearly one year later, the league resumed play for the final games of the playoffs on March 10, 2021 through a bubble in Subic. The Davao Occidental beat the San Juan Knights in a rematch of last season's Finals to become the 2020 champions. Because of the long delay, the 2020–21 season was cancelled altogether. In October 2021, Chooks-to-Go took over the operations of the league.
Professional league (2021–present)
On November 9, 2021, it was announced that the MPBL will turn into a professional league. On December 9, 2021, the MPBL was granted professional status by the Games and Amusements Board. The league also signed a partnership with sports betting platform OKBet to server as their title sponsor.
For the 2021 Invitational, the league's first preseason tournament, it was announced that all roster restrictions would be lifted. In the 2021 Invitational, the Basilan Jumbo Plastic became tournament's champions and also won a prize pot of two million pesos.
This is followed by the 2022 season, which featured 22 teams. The season marked a new sponsorship with sports betting platform OKBet. On October 10, 2022, Kyt Jimenez of the Sarangani Marlins became the first player in league history to record a quadruple-double. The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards went undefeated in the regular season and subsequently became the 2022 champions, winning against the Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines.
The 2023 season features 29 teams, including two expansion teams. The 2023 Preseason Invitational was held in General Santos featuring eight teams, among those teams is the first guest team in the league, Bulalakaw. The Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines won the preseason tournament, beating the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards. In May 2023, the Junior MPBL was established, which will consist of under-14, under-16, and under-18 divisions. On June 3, 2023, Jeff Viernes of the Sarangani Marlins recorded the league's first 50-point game.
There is no draft held during the off-season, instead, teams acquire their players through the signing of contracts. However, there are roster restrictions that each team must follow:
- All local players are eligible to play in the league – naturally-born Filipino citizens.
- Each team must have at least three homegrown players on the roster – local players who are native to their team's home locality.
- Each team is limited to two Filipino-foreigners, but only one can play at a time – Filipinos of foreign descent; must be a holder of a Philippine passport. A height limit of 6'5" (1.95 m) is imposed.
- Each team is limited to seven ex-professional players, but only five can play at a time – players with prior participation in other professional leagues, such as the PBA and ABL.
The league uses the standard FIBA rules for all of its games.
Before the regular season begins, an invitational tournament is held as part of the pre-season. In the group stage, the participating teams are divided into multiple groups, where each team will play against their group opponents once. The top two teams of each group advance to a single-elimination playoff tournament, with cash prizes awaiting the top teams.
The regular season uses a single-round robin format, much like the PBA, where each team plays against all of the other teams once. In each gameday, a series of games is played in a team's homecourt, but not all games feature the host team, making them neutral-site games. Three games are usually played in each gameday, with the final game often featuring the host team. In each division, the top eight teams by winning percentage advance to the playoffs and are seeded into a single-elimination bracket. The first three rounds (First Round, Division Semifinals, and Division Finals) are played in a best-of-three series, while the National Finals is played in a best-of-five series.
During the off-season, teams submit their commitments to compete in the league, including potential expansion teams. Teams are usually owned by their respective local governments and backed by team sponsors. Team names change often in the league, even mid-season. These often come as a result of sponsorship changes within teams.
During its first season in 2018, the MPBL had ten teams entering the league, all based in Luzon. Since then, it has expanded into Visayas and Mindanao. In the 2023 season, there are 29 teams participating in the league, including two expansion teams in Negros and Quezon.
|North Division||South Division|
- ^ The Pasig City MCW Sports, San Juan Knights and Sarangani Marlins were founded during the active years of Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).
- ^ The GenSan Warriors were founded in 2005 as the GenSan MP PacMan Warriors of the Mindanao Visayas Basketball Association (MVBA).
- ^ The Quezon Huskers were founded in 2004 as the Quezon Coco Huskers of the United Regional Basketball League (URBL).
- ^ The Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines were founded in 2018 as part of the Zamboanga Valientes; the MPBL side was "re-launched" in 2019 due to management issues.
|Team||Locality||Main sponsor||Arena||Capacity||Founded||Joined||Last season|
|Basilan Jumbo Plastic||Lamitan, Basilan||Jumbo Plastic Linoleum
|Lamitan Capitol Gym||3,000||2018||2021|
|Cebu Casino Ethyl Alcohol||Cebu City, Cebu
Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
|International Pharmaceuticals Inc.||USJ-R Basak Coliseum
|Davao Occidental Tigers||Davao Occidental
Davao del Sur
|United Coconut Planters Life Assurance Corporation||University of Southeastern Philippines Gymnasium & Cultural Center
Rizal Memorial Colleges Petro Gazz Arena
Davao City Recreation Center
|Mandaluyong El Tigre||Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
Pasig, Metro Manila
|Dataland||Jose Rizal University Gym
Ynares Sports Arena
|Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines||Navotas,
|Slord Development Corporation||Navotas Sports Complex||1,000||2018||2019–20|
Bold text indicates a current active team, or an arena used in the two most recent seasons (2022 and 2023). Italic text shows the previous names for each team.
- ^ During the 2020–21 MPBL Playoffs, games at the Subic Bay Gymnasium were held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Teams||Win||Loss||Total||Year(s) won||Year(s) lost|
Similar to the defunct Philippine Basketball League and the former Shakey's V-League prior to 2016, the MPBL employs its own in-house broadcast team for all games.
On January 11, 2018, it was announced that ABS-CBN and its sports division would be the first television broadcasters in the league. These games were broadcast through S+A, Liga, and its various ABS-CBN Regional Network Group in the Philippines, while The Filipino Channel broadcast the games in international markets. Some Finals games would also be aired through the main ABS-CBN channel. In addition, Fox Sports Asia also held the broadcast rights for Monday games until the 2018–19 season. The broadcast rights were left in jeopardy when ABS-CBN's franchise was expired on May 4, 2020, which led to the dissolution of its sports division on August 31, 2020. Despite that, the network continued to broadcast games through A2Z when the 2020 playoffs resumed.
For the 2021 Invitational, the league then found new broadcast partners in IBC and TAP DMV, where the games were broadcast via the IBC channel and Tap Sports.
The current television contract with Cignal TV began in the 2022 season, where select games are broadcast through One PH and One Sports+. Beginning with the 2023 season, games are also broadcast on Media Pilipinas TV via Cignal TV.
The league broadcasts all of its games through its official Facebook, YouTube, and Kumu pages, as well as on Cignal Play and iWantTFC.
|1||Snow Badua||August 29, 2017||November 22, 2017|
|2||Kenneth Duremdes||November 22, 2017||incumbent|
- List of Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League champions
- Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League records
- Philippine Basketball Association
- National Basketball League (Philippines)
- Pilipinas Super League
- Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup
- Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3
- ^ Del Rosario, Paolo (August 29, 2017). "Senator Manny Pacquiao launches new basketball league". CNN Philippines (in English and Filipino). Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- ^ "From humble origins in GenSan, Manny Pacquiao's MPBL is now a nation-wide league". ABS-CBN Sports. June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
nd as the semi-professional league continues to grow, it's amazing to think that it all started with a 'pa-liga' in General Santos City.
- ^ a b Henson, Joaquin (September 3, 2017). "MPBL won't compete with PBA". The Philippine Star. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- ^ a b "Chooks-to-Go MPBL officially turns pro". Tiebreaker Times. December 9, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
- ^ Lintag, Paul (August 29, 2017). "Home-and-away games make grand return through Maharlika Pilipinas". ABS-CBN Sports. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- ^ "ABS-CBN S+A is the official broadcaster of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League". January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- ^ Leongson, Randolph (January 22, 2018). "Maharlika basketball league tips off Thursday with 10 teams at Big Dome". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- ^ Leongson, Randolph (January 25, 2018). "Pacquiao's dream league comes to reality; Parañaque wins". Inquirer.net. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- ^ Lagunzad, Jerome. "20 teams, so far, in MPBL". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- ^ "MPBL takes a hit for 'racist' rule limiting teams to only one Fil-foreign player". Spin.ph. Retrieved May 14, 2023.
- ^ a b c "MPBL raises limit on Fil-foreigners to two, ex-pros to seven per team". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. May 17, 2019. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
- ^ a b "Chooks-to-Go takes over MPBL's basketball operations". Tiebreaker Times. October 25, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
- ^ Giongco, Mark (March 6, 2021). "MPBL set to resume division finals on March 10". Inquirer.net. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
- ^ Tupas, Cedelf (June 1, 2020). "MPBL cancels 2020-2021 season". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
- ^ Ulanday, John Bryan. "MPBL seals deal with sports betting firm, puts premium on integrity". Philstar.com. Retrieved February 18, 2023.
- ^ "Chooks-to-Go MPBL set to turn pro, removes Fil-for restrictions". Tiebreaker Times. November 10, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
- ^ "MPBL scraps limit on Fil-foreign players per team - for the time being". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. November 11, 2021. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
- ^ "Kyt Jimenez posts historic quadruple double in Sarangani blowout win". Spin.ph. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
- ^ "Quezon, Negros Musovados join MPBL as 5th season features 26 squads". Philstar.com. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
- ^ "P3M at stake in MPBL preseason joust". Philstar.com. Retrieved February 20, 2023.
- ^ "Viernes sets MPBL record 50 points in Sarangani's 2OT win". Philstar.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
- ^ Nicolas, Jino (February 8, 2018). "Tanduay Athletics locked in for grassroots basketball". BusinessWorld. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
- ^ Henson, Joaquin (February 22, 2018). "Manny Pacquiao upbeat on MPBL expansion". The Philippine Star. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
- ^ Joble, Rey (April 10, 2018). "MPBL reaches Sweet 16 as Makati enters as latest expansion ball club". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- ^ "Makati ditches Skyscrapers MPBL moniker as team unveils Super Crunch". Fox Sports. November 5, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- ^ a b Joble, Rey (April 8, 2018). "Manila, Team Rizal raise Maharlika Pilipinas member teams to 15". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- ^ Joble, Rey (April 25, 2018). "Ex-Navotas stars likely to rejoin old coach in new team in Marikina". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- ^ Joble, Rey (April 24, 2018). "MPBL: Anybody wants to know what Pampanga's moniker is?". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- ^ Joble, Rey (May 13, 2018). "Unheralded Lastimosa, 2 ex-pros lead Pasay's MPBL campaign". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- ^ Reyes, Jonas Egan (April 4, 2018). "Pasig Pirates set to sail again". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- ^ Joble, Rey. "Team Rizal planning to change moniker for MPBL season". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- ^ Joble, Rey (April 7, 2018). "Ex-Senator Estrada excited to see Cardona-led San Juan Knights in MPBL". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- ^ Joble, Rey (May 22, 2018). "MPBL welcomes Bacoor Strikers as 26th squad". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
- ^ a b Joble, Rey (May 2, 2018). "Gen San, Zamboanga join Davao Occi in MPBL's Vis-Min expansion". Fox Sports Asia. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
- ^ Joble, Rey (April 5, 2018). "Laguna 2nd expansion squad to join MPBL; San Juan, Makati next in line". Fox Sports Philippines. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- ^ a b "Quezon, Negros Musovados join MPBL as 5th season features 26 squads". Philstar.com. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
- ^ Go, R.G. Antonet (December 29, 2018). "'Valientes' to be re-launched as Zambo Family's Brand Sardines". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- ^ Joble, Rey (December 26, 2021). "Davao Occidental leaves MPBL, named founding member of PSL". Tiebreaker Times. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
- ^ "ABS-CBN S+A is broadcaster of Pacman's cage league". Manila Standard. January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.