The regional tournament that once featured the likes of SJ Belangel, Kib Montalbo, and JP Calvo has set up a stage right in the heart of Negros Occidental for youngsters to showcase their skills.
Organized by the United Negros Basketball League, the Chairman’s Cup is coming to the Bacolod Tay Tung High School Gym and Covered Court on July 16. A total of 32 teams are being eyed to compete in two tourneys, one for 17-under and another for 21-under.
“This league meant a lot to me. It helped me become who I am today, helping me boost my stock as a high school player kasi scouts watch it,” remarked Montalbo, who now plays for TNT, and also suited up for Gilas Pilipinas.
“I’m encouraging players from Bacolod na magpakita ng best nila because you’ll never know who’s watching. Eventually, it may lead you to play at a higher level.”
The Chairman’s Cup, the brainchild of Robert Uy, was first staged in 2008 and went on every year in Iloilo. Palawan introduced its own leg in May this year, and Negros has followed suit.
“Before, kids from Negros, nagpupunta pa ng Iloilo just to play, so we formed the UNBL,” shared treasurer Roger Montalbo, on behalf of president Jun Ballesteros.
“Why not sa Bacolod na gawin ang liga so kids will not have to travel?”
After the Negros tournament wraps up, a showdown among champions from the three legs of the Chairman’s Cup is also being planned.