Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League has forged a partnership on Wednesday with the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation to air the games of the Invitational Tournament at the Harbor View Restaurant in Manila.
The 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational Tournament will mark the return of the country’s regional men’s basketball league after a nine-month hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For IBC 13 chairman Arturo Alejandrino, bringing sports back to the lineup of the state-owned channel is a way of helping bring back normalcy to the country.
“We are very excited partnering with the MPBL because we are going to go back to where we came from,” said Alejandrino. “We were in basketball before and for a while, we became very quiet and you know partnering with them is really a milestone also for IBC and we are excited as they are.
“Last year, we have started partnering with Department of Education to bring classrooms into their homes via television, and because of that our viewership got up tremendously and I am glad that because of this viewership base you know the broadcast of the games of MPBL is going to be viewed by Filipinos all over the country,” he continued.
“Ang reach natin is from north up to Mindanao, so the basketball flag can go forward and be able to see basketball once again in their television sets. And we will develop more and more partnerships together, but again as I said we have decided in Channel 13 to be able to develop and contribute and one of them is to develop sports. And we are all excited and looking forward to December 11 for the launch.”
Games that will be televised are Bicol versus Basilan (December 11, 9 p.m.), Manila versus Mindoro and Negros versus Bacolod (December 12, 4 p.m.), Laguna versus Marikina (December 13, 7:30 p.m.), Gen San versus Imus (December 14, 7:30 p.m.), Pasig versus Bacoor (December 15, 7:30 p.m.), Bulacan versus Rizal (December 16, 7:30 p.m.), San Juan versus Muntinlupa (December 17, 7:30 p.m.), Sarangani versus Val City (December 18, 7:30 p.m.), Iloilo versus Caloocan and Nueva Ecija versus San Juan (December 19, 4 p.m.), and Makati versus Basilan (December 20, 7:30 p.m.).
IBC 13 will also air two quarterfinals games on the 21st and the entire semifinals and final of the tournament.
The rest of the games will be livestreamed on Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas’ and Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s Facebook pages.
Also in attendance during the signing were IBC 13 on-air Operations Manager Joey Ramos, IBC 13 Sales and Marketing Head Roy Gonzales, MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, MPBL legal counsel Atty. Glenn Gacal, and Chooks-to-Go legal counsel Atty. Oliver Correa.
“We are glad that the MPBL has found a home in IBC 13 and that basketball is back there,” said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas. “With the reach of IBC 13 and our social media pages, we are confident that we can bring the league into many homes and be an inspiration to the Filipino youth.”
For his part, Duremdes is just glad that the MPBL will be ushering in the return of sports to IBC 13 as it was the channel that showed his and many more players like him back in his pro playing days.
“Ito na ‘yung masasabi nating IBC na ang home for basketball. Ito ‘yung inabutan natin noon. ‘Yung IBC sort of reviving of basketball on IBC 13,” said Duremdes. “So masaya tayo na nagkaroon tayo ng partnership. Alam naman natin ngayon na restricted pa ang audience so mapapanuod tayo ng mga kababayan natin mga MPBL fans all over the country with IBC on us.”
The 22 teams competing in the 13-day event that has a P2.7-million prize pool are All-Star Bacolod Ballers, Bacoor City Strikers, Bicol Volcanoes, Bulacan Kuyas, Caloocan Excellence, Gen San Warriors, Iloilo United Royals, Imus Bandera, Laguna Krah Asia, Makati FSD Blazers, Manila Stars, Marikina Shoe City, Mindoro EOG Burlington Tamaraws, Muntinlupa Cagers, Negros Muscovados, Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, EMKAI – Rizal Xentromall Golden Coolers, Sarangani Marlins, Val City – MJAS Zenith, San Juan Knights Go for Gold AICC, and Jumbo Plastic Basilan.