9 08 2007

THE groupings for the upcoming BAP-SBP Pilipinas Cup have been determined during a recent meeting of the organizing committee at the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) offices in Pasig City. Sixteen teams representing sixteen zones are set to do battle for regional pride in the two-week tournament under the auspices of the BAP-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (BAP-SBP) set to begin this October.

The country’s three premiere amateur leagues – the PBL, the Mindanao Visayas Basketball Association (MVBA) and National Basketball Conference (NBC) – have all joined forces for this undertaking.

Group A will be composed of North Luzon, Central Luzon and contingents representing Northern and Central Metro Manila. North Luzon – the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera Administrative Regions – is expected the host the group’s elimination games in Baguio City.

CaLaBaRzon’s Antipolo City will likely entertain fellow Group B squads from Southern Metro Manila, MiMaRoPa and Bicol.

An interesting skirmish is expected in Group C made up of teams from the Visayas with Panay, Negros (Occidental and Oriental), Cebu (along with Bohol and Siquijor) and the Samar-Leyte area.

Finally, Group D will be have entries from North Mindanao which will join forces with the Caraga Region, the Davao region, the Zamboanga Peninsula and Socsksargen which has united with the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao. The province of Misamis Oriental through Gov. Oscar S. Moreno has already expressed its interest to host the Mindanao group’s games.
Each group will play a single-round robin amongst themselves with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout playoff rounds.

“We are presently eyeing holding the group stages in Baguio, Antipolo, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, not only because of their geographical advantages but also because of their tourism value,” explains project director Noel Zarate of the BAP-SBP. “It has also been gathered that there are more than 300 players from just the three member leagues, 48 coming from Cebu alone. It will definitely be a challenge for these (players) to find roster spots when the teams start forming.”

Because of the unique format, it is possible that players from all three leagues and free agents will suit up for the same team. A player can only see action for the team representing his own birthplace or the birthplace of either of his parents. An age limit of 30 years has been set in order to give younger talents the chance to be discovered.

Zarate further added that some of the zones are still open to interested parties who wish to handle its teams.




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