GENERAL SANTOS CITY—The province of Bicol became the 27th member of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League after it was formally accepted by league officials on Friday here at the Road Hauz Hotel.
The Volcanoes, headed by coach Monel Kallos, is the newest squad approved by the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league this year.
Another applicant is Iloilo, which has two groups hoping to secure the rights to run the basketball organization of the squad.
League founder and CEO Senator Manny Pacquiao has yet to decide between the two groups and he wants to see which between the two has a better offer and capable of handling the team in the long run.
Bicol is reportedly asking to have 10 home games in the coming season, which was initially set to start June 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena. League commissioner Kenneth Duremdes believes those number of games in the province that has become a tourist attraction is doable.
“OK ‘yan, as long as they will provide buses for the delegation and hotel accommodation, of course,” added Commissioner Duremdes.
Also approved by league officials is the entry of a new management group which will operate the Pasig Pirates.
Long-time Sta. Lucia Realty team manager and two-time PBA Executive of the Year awardee Buddy Encarnado has been delegated as general manager of the Pirates, now being owned by Gene Pineda.
The Pirates, owner of the worst record in the Datu Cup (4-21), had been under two managements —James Ong Machate and Paolo Mercado.
Under new management, which will be guided by Encarnado, also the general manager of the NCRAA, the league is upbeat Pasig will be in good hands.
Following its entry in the MPBL, Encarnado immediately appointed former University of Santo Tomas coach Bong dela Cruz to call the shots for the Pirates.