Homegrown mixed with veterans
With the PBA’s support of the homegrown tournament Metro League, it will be another avenue for former professional cagers to hone their skills in the hopes of making a comeback to the Big League. Moreover, it will be their way of passing on their knowledge to D-League aspirants.
“When we have our D-League next year, a lot of players will be discovered also, who knows, makapaglaro din sa D-League?” said PBA director for basketball operations Eric Castro.
“That’s why ang partnership talaga na ito, magiging successful to kung tayo’y magtutulugnan.”
“With the partnership with the PBA, definitely, andun yung channel ng mga new and old players na makapaglaro ulit ng competitive,” added M-League tournament director Bonnie Tan.
A total of seven ex-pros and at least nine PBA D-League vets are set for the inaugural open division of the Metro Manila Sports Fest’s M-League Open Division.
Headlining the former PBA cagers that are trying to showcase their skills are Manila All-Stars’ Joseph Yeo and Mark Cruz. The Taguig Generals will have big man John Ferriols, the Marikina Shoelanders tapped the services of MC Caceres and Philip Butel, the Isang Peteros will have Ariel Carpus, while the Valenzuela Workhorses hired Arnold Gamboa.
Besides Yeo and Cruz, the All-Stars will have Ken Acibar as well. The Quezon City Capitals have Kojak Melegrito, the Workhorses picked up Reneford Ruaya and John Tayongtong, while the Paranaque Green Berets will have Gwayne Capacio leading the way.
The league opens its curtains on Sunday when Parañaque face Pateros at the Caloocan Gym at 10:00am. There will be a brief opening ceremony graced by Caloocan Mayor Oca Malapitan, MMDA Chairman Danny Lim, General Manager Jojo Garcia, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, and M-League officials led by Commissioner Glenn Capacio. Home team Caloocan will then face Valenzuela, before Manila and Marikina cap the triple-header.
Afterwards, games will be held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday around the metro.
The tourney will have Spalding as official basketball, Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter, and is supported by Synergy 88, San Miguel Corporation, World Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit Mineral Watter, AlcoPlus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, Nature’s Spring, and SM Supermalls.