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Prince Eze banners imports for VisMin return

The second season of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup will feature six to eight teams parading imports with unlimited height, most of them previously suited up in the country’s various collegiate leagues.

The opening conference of the regional league is set for a March 15 launching in Zamboanga City, new commissioner Cris Bautista announced in the virtual Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

“Maraming liga ngayon, pero itong VisMin iniba namin. Mas pinataas namin yung level ng competition (kasi) meron kaming imports dito sa first conference,” he said.

“Ito yung mga players (imports) na naglaro sa NCAA, UAAP, at yung ibang collegiate leagues. Itinuturing ko na rin naman silang mga Pilipino kasi yung iba rito may asawa na ring Pinay. May mga anak na rin sila. Although siyempre naka-focus kami sa mga Visayas and Mindanao talent, pero why don’t we give them extra income na maglaro para na rin sa pamilya nila.”

At the moment, five regular teams are already committed to seeing action, according to the commissioner, namely Basilan, Zamboanga City, Misamis Oriental, Bohol, and newcomer Ormoc.

Meanwhile, imports that have already been signed are Perpetual’s Prince Eze, Ateneo’s Chi Ikeh, University of the East’s Moustapha Arafat, and De La Salle-Araneta’s Henry Iloka.

“Yung apat is on process pa, kasi meron pa silang inaayos na kaunti,” said Bautista in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Unilever, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

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At most, the VisMin official sees a six-team field as very ideal.

“Short, maikli pero double round robin siya. So guaranteed na 10 games each yung mga teams natin,” said Bautista, a former coach at Jubilee Christian Academy and founder of Ballout Hoops Challenge.

In as much as it would want to accept more teams, the commissioner said the fledgling league has certainly learned its lesson from last year when issues of game shaving rocked the VisMin Super Cup right in its maiden conference.

“For me, hindi naman tayo basta puwedeng kuha lang kuha ng teams. So para silang nag-aaply ng financing sa banko,” said Bautista, who meticulously checks on the background of the applying franchises, its owners, coaches, players, and team personnel.

“Dito kailangang maghigpit. Hindi natin palalampasin yan. Hindi ko hahayaang mangyari ulit yung ganun.”

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