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MPBL looking to sustain growth

MANILA, Philippines — The MPBL just concluded its fifth season, and yet league officials are already looking forward to the next one.

Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said league founder Manny Pacquiao is now thinking of ways on how to maintain or even exceed the success gained in the recent season moving forward.

The league is looking to open its sixth season by March next year after the Pampanga Giant Lanterns emerged as the new national champions following a 3-0 sweep of the Bacoor Strikers in the finals last week.

“Right after ng championship, nagpatawag agad ng meeting si Senator (Pacquiao) sa bahay niya. So nagse-celebrate pa ‘yung buong Pampanga nandun na kami sa bahay niya kasi he’s excited dahil nakita niya yung growth and success ng league. At gusto niya magkaroon agad ng plano this early,” said Duremdes in yesterday’s PSA Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

While Pampanga was a dominant force in the playoffs, including becoming the first team to sweep the finals, Duremdes noted how the Lanterns became the fifth different national champion in five seasons of the league so far.

Batangas was the inaugural champion followed by San Juan, Davao Occidental, and Nueva Ecija.