THE Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) will open its fourth season on April 25 at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.

For this tournament, the MPBL will be partnering with Cignal. The partnership was formalized during an event held last Friday at the Conrad Manila Hotel. In attendance was league founder Manny Pacquiao, commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, and other top officials of Cignal.

A total of 20 teams will be competing in the fourth season led by inaugural champion Batangas City and Datu Cup titlists, San Juan. Also competing are Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Makati, Bataan, Valenzuela, Manila, Zamboanga, Imus, Bacolod, Saranggani, General Santos City, Negros Occidental, Mindoro, Pasig, Rizal, Quezon City, Marikina and Caloocan.

Taking a leave of absence from this competition are Cebu, Iloilo, Bulacan, Navotas, Paranaque, and defending champion Davao Occidental.

Each team will be composed of at least 15 players. They can have a maximum of 24 players. Every squad can have seven former PBA players, five collegiate players with special guest license from the Games and Amusement Board, at least three homegrowns and two Fil-foreigners, who must be at least 18 years old and Philippine passport holder. (JNP)