Armed with a purpose and the backing of an entire city, the Zamboanga Valientes will be coming in as one of the most interesting teams in the upcoming Chooks to Go Pilipinas 3×3 tournament.
The first leg is set this Saturday, at the SM Megamall Events Center. And it would not be surprising to see fans of the Valientes trooping to the venue to support their players.
“Talagang inaabangan na ng mga taga-Zamboanga ang Valientes,” said Junnie Navarro, the enthusiastic team owner of the Valientes.
“Mahal na mahal ng mga tao ito. Kaya nga natin binubuo ang Valientes, para magkaroon ng talagang aabangan at susuportahan ang mga Zamboangueno.”
The team will be led the young ‘Tausog Hero’ Das Esa, who caught plenty of attention during the preseason with his ability to torch the opponents with his outside shooting.
Joining Esa is ex-pro Jonathan Parreno; former UE Red Warrior Gino Jumao-as; and homegrown talents such as Grevanni Rublico, Rino Berame, and Ferdinand Lusdoc.
“Kita naman natin sa preseason, talagang malalakas din ang kalaban. But we’re competing, we won against Bulacan, so magandang sign yun para sa team,” Navarro continued.
“Siguro kaya magandang addition din si Jumao-As kasi yung UAAP experience niya malaking bagay din talaga.”
But perhaps their advantage among all teams is their purpose heading into the tournament.
As the only team from Mindanao, Zamboanga aims to be the common ground between Muslims and Christians in the region, aspiring to be the picture of unity for the island.
“We dedicate our whole tournament to the victims of the bombings in Jolo. We pray that we can finally find peace in the region,” Navarro said.
“Ang Valientes ang patunay na talagang kayang magka-isa ng mga Muslim at Kristyano.”