MPBL “Lakan Cup” bubble semis is on at Subic Freeport

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The first of two matches of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) semifinal round went ahead here yesterday that will determine the first finalist who will advance to the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Lakan National Finals.

Defending champion San Juan-Go for Gold was merciless in manhandling a Makati-Super Crunch side that was severely lacking in manpower with a 131-54 massacre to win the North division crown at the Subic Bay Gymnasium of this freeport.

Despite having only a few players, the Makati side showed grit and did not go down without a fight after many of its players were unable to join the team in the bubble tourney because of playing issues.

Basilan Steel and the Davao Occidental Tigers, on the other hand, will duke it out next week for the South version of the crown.

The winners of the MPBL North and South divisions will battle in a best-of-five national finals for the MPBL Lakan Cup this season starting on March 18.

With the successful hosting of the first beach volleyball tournament here under a similar bubble format just two weeks ago, it is expected that the same success will also follow for the MPBL 2021 Chooks-to-Go Lakan Finals.

The MPBL playoffs was supposed to be held last year but was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma welcomed the participants at the Subic Gym. She said the MPBL playoffs will further cement Subic’s claim to fame as the nation’s sports bubble capital.

“Subic Bay is out to prove that sports activities, which are essential for our physical and mental health, can still be done despite the limitations of COVID-19,” Eisma said.

“However, let us not forget that we are here because we were able to keep the Subic Bay Freeport safe. And this is not the time to rest,” she added, calling on participants to observe health protocols while in Subic.

Under the sports bubble concept, all the participants—the players, organizers, and technical crew—will have to pass an Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, and will be allowed access only to the sports venue and their designated hotels.

Health protocols also forbid the participants from having any interaction with the public, as well as spectators from watching the games inside the venue.

The playoffs will be shown on Channel A2Z.

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