By John Ezekiel J. Hirro

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) has official cancelled its 2020-2021 season, as the ban on contact sports remains under general community quarantine (GCQ).

League commissioner Kenneth Duremdes also said the shutdown of ABS-CBN, whose Sports + Action channel is the league’s television broadcast partner, was also a factor in the decision.

However, players will still be entitled to “at least 20 percent” of their allowances.

In a memorandum sent by MPBL management to teams, obtained by PressONE.PH, the league said it would start its next season on June 12, 2021.

The remainder of the abruptly postponed Lakan Cup semifinals and finals will be finished once the ban on contact sports is lifted, Duremdes said.

These games will be held in a single, closed-door venue. Players and officials will be quarantined in one facility throughout the series.

The league also said it would conduct a protracted preseason tournament once contact sports are allowed by government guidelines. Teams may opt to join in preparation for the 2021-2022 season.

The league will also prohibit teams from filing leaves of absence during the 2021-2022 season.

MPBL plays games in 31 cities and provinces in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.