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D2 Super Cup: Encho Serrano makes first appearance since Phoenix departure in Tiaong

A bevy of aspiring stars had the opportunity to showcase a glimpse of their bright potential as the second district of Quezon Province launched the D2 Super Cup Invitational Tournament in partnership with the Pilipinas Super League on Friday at the Tiaong Convention Center in Quezon.

With the majestic and mighty Sierra Madre mountain range serving as a backdrop, Quezonians and guest teams from across the archipelago and abroad gathered to roll out the red carpet for the 14-team competition.

Quezon second district Rep. David “Jay-jay” Suarez and Tiaong Mayor RJ Mea headlined the opening ceremony of the week-long tournament powered by Converge and backed by Alona party-list Rep. Anna Villaraza-Suarez, signaling the start of a grand vision to put the district on the sporting map.

“Pangarap po namin na magkaroon ng malaking liga sa second district as we wanted to bring our hometown to the map of big sporting events, lalo na dito sa natapos nating Tiaong Convention Center,” Suarez, who thanked the PSL led by president Rocky Chan, vice president Ray Alao, and commissioner Leo Isaac, for making it happen, said.

“Nakakatuwa at nakakataba po ng puso na maraming teams na sumali. This just goes to show na iyong pangarap natin na maisama ang distrito at mga bayan namin sa sports calendar, na-achieve natin,” he added.

Host team Tiaong Meaksyon leads the cast alongside nearby towns Candelaria, Gumaca, Gilas Sariaya, and San Antonio Bobcats. Joining the formidable lineup are the Manila City Stars, Zamboanga Valientes, AMA University, Antipolo Pilgrims, RV Sports Wildcats, MFT Fruitmasters, Berbets Engineering Services, Siomai King, and overseas team Kuala Lumpur Aseel, competing for a grand prize of P2 million.

#ReadMore  PBA Draft: Phoenix gets Tio at 14, nabs Serrano at 19

While the tournament promises excitement, it goes beyond mere games and competition. Tiaong aims to establish it as an annual event to foster the growth of its sports program and promote its rich history, culture, tourism, and economy.

“Ito pong liga natin ngayon ay hindi magiging first time lang. Mauulit po ito. At hindi lang po sports ang plano natin kundi pati ang promotion ng tourist spots at makakuha ng investors para lalong makilala ang bayan ng Tiaong,” Mea said.

The Tiaong Convention Center serves as the main hub for this goal, boasting top-standard sporting features and amenities with a seating capacity of up to 4,000. Plans to construct other sporting facilities around the center, including hotels and restaurants, are also in the works.

In a fitting manner, the teams did not disappoint in inaugurating the venue as the home team Tiaong Meaksyon defeated the Gumaca Kuyas 70-58 in the main game, following Siomai King’s 119-76 victory over Antipolo in the opener.

Encho Serrano led the way for Siomai King with 19 points, three rebounds, and three steals in just 15 minutes of play.

This is Serrano’s first appearance in a basketball court since opting not to renew with Phoenix Super LPG.

Kobe Dalisay shone for Tiaong with 17 points, three rebounds, and two steals.

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