PBA’s third league?
The Philippine Basketball Association and the Metro Manila Sports Fest made a breakthrough announcement on Monday at the MMDA Office in Guadalupe, Makati.
For the inaugural season of the Metro League, the PBA expressed its full support for the league that looks to promote homegrown talent in Manila.
“With the partnership with the PBA, definitely, andun yung channel ng mga new and old players na makapaglaro ulit ng competitive,” said tournament director Bonnie Tan.
“Aside from the D-League refs and officials, all the game results will be shown sa cube natin during live PBA games, at the same time, sa social media ng PBA ilalagay natin ang resulta,” added PBA Technical Director Eric Castro.
“And then when we have our D-League next year, a lot of players will be discovered also, who knows makapaglaro din sa D-League? That’s why ang partnership talaga na ito, magiging successful ‘to kung tayo’y magtutulugnan.”
With the PBA’s support, seven former pros and nine D-League aspirants will try to reboot their careers in this league.
The Manila All-Stars will be headlined by ex-pros Joseph Yeo and Mark Cruz; the Taguig Generals will have John Ferriols; the Marikina Shoelanders tapped Mc Caceres and Philip Butel; the Isang Pateros acquired Ariel Capus; and the Valenzuela Workhorses inked Arnold Gamboa.
Besides the talent, what sets the M-League apart from the other homegrown leagues is the composition of the teams. Each of the 10 member teams will have 10 homegrown players that is identified through their voter’s ID and six “imports”.
“As early as commissioner Chito Narvasa napag-uusapan na ito. We have plans talaga regarding LGU leagues,” recalled Tan. “Nakita ko rin na part of their calendar is to tap the LGU, nalaman nila na we’re organizing with the MMDA, yung league natin, yung 2016, pinag-uusapan na namin yung partnership na to.
“Hindi naman overnight yung formal partnership, pinag-aralan ng matagal with the PBA board, with our group, hopefully ma-solidify pa yung partnership,” he added.
The 10 teams will be divided into two groups, North and South. The Quezon City Capitals, Marikina, Manila, the Caloocan Supremos, and Valenzuela will compose the North group, while the San Juan while the Solid San Juan, the Taguig Generals, Pateros, the Parañaque Green Berets, and the Las Pinas Home Defenders are grouped in the South.
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.
“Expect natin na mas magiging competitive yung league because from developmental, medyo nag-evolve siya to open competition. Yung ibang mga na-discover na, mababalik natin sa competitive condition nila,” shared Tan.
“Hopefully, maging channel tayo na mabigyan sila ng break sa higher leagues.”
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.
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