By Adrian Stewart Co
Bacolod Master Sardines and newcomer Negros Mascuvados are set to carry the Western Visayas colors in the 2021 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Mumbaki Cup.
Watchmen Daily Journal learned from a source yesterday that Master Sardines and Mascuvados were among the 19 teams that signified their intention to play in Mumbaki Cup, which is being targeted to start at the middle part of the year.
Iloilo United Royals, which had a solid showing during its inaugural year in the 2019-2020 MPBL Lakan Cup, is reportedly taking a leave of absence for the upcoming season.
The Master Sardines, which ended their forgetful debut year in the Lakan Cup with 11-19 win-loss slate, has been preparing for the Mumbaki Cup since last year with a number of free agent acquisitions.
Among the players the Master Sardines signed up were former PBA players John Karlo Casiño, who played for Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and TNT Tropang Giga; Cyrus Tabi, formerly of TerraFirma Dyip; and ex-Phoenix Fuel Masters forward Jeff Javillonar.
Bacolod also came to terms with Bacolodnon guard Jeramer Cabanag, Sandy Cenal, Simon Camacho, Jeff Comia, and Jason Strait prior to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Newcomer Mascuvados, on the other hand, were also making their moves for the 2021 Mumbaki Cup after forming a team mostly composed of Negros Occidental-based cagers.
The Mascuvados recently plucked up players from the free agency in former University of the East Red Warriors center Nick Abanto, Negrense Bill Geolingo and Cebuanos Edrian Lao and Alfred Codilla.
The MPBL Mumbaki Cup still does not have a timeline of starting as it has yet to gain a clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
However, if the league gets a green light, they are aiming to build a bubble at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, which hosted the postponed semifinals and finals of the 2020 MPBL Lakan Cup earlier this year./ASC, WDJ