5 08 2007

In what promises to be an all-out war for regional supremacy, the three premiere amateur leagues in the country; the Philippine Basketball League (PBL), the National Basketball Conference (NBC) and the Mindanao-Visayas Basketball Association (MVBA) gear up for the first ever BAP-SBP Pilipinas Cup, slated on October 2-13 in major cities across the archipelago.

“Just imagine a (FIFA) World Cup type setting wherein 16 basketball regions clash in group stages en route to a national championship, represented by its best players from the three leagues and maybe even those unheralded street legends of their respective provinces. The Pilipinas Cup will be enormous,” explains project director Noel Zarate. “The solid support of the PBL, NBC and MVBA is paramount. They are the backbone of this undertaking.”

The tournament, which also seeks to discover and highlight fresh talents from the grassroots level, will also feature two players under 19 years of age who stand to gain a full college scholarship should their team prevail.

“This is the most ambitious yet most important project of the BAP-SBP this year,” BAP-SBP Executive Director Patrick Gregorio says. “We will finally get to crown a true national champion and in the process discover potential basketball stalwarts and award scholarships to deserving youngsters. Thanks to the three leagues, this will now be a reality.”

“This is a great thing for regional basketball,” says NBC Secretary General Tito Palma. “We look forward to a successful Pilipinas Cup.”

“We’re very excited,” MVBA Commissioner Willie Generalao exclaims. “Finally these unknown players from the Visayas and Mindanao areas will be noticed nationally.”

PBL Executive Director Butch Maniego echoes this enthusiasm, saying “It’s a good way to give opportunities to untapped talents in the countryside and raise their level of play by providing solid competition.”




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