Calasiao to host MPBL inaugurals

April 5, 2024 People's Tonight 289 views

NEWCOMERS Pangasinan and Abra test each other’s mettle when they tangle at 8 p.m. in the second game of the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season inaugurals at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan.

Zamboanga Masters Sardines clashes with retooled Valenzuela in the 6 p.m. opener of the 30-team, nine-month league founded by Manny Pacquiao.

Determined to make a splash in the country’s top regional league right away, the Pangasinan Heatwaves and the Abra Weavers have assembled rosters strong enough to challenge the traditional MPBL powerhouses.

Pangasinan acquired the services of multi-titled coach Jerson Cabiltes to steer the Heatwaves, who will be bannered by Michael Mabulac, Mark Dyke, Hesed Gabo, JonJon Gabriel, Dennicve Villamor, Jerald Bautista, Ian Melencio, Jeff Javillonar, Jay-R Taganas, Vince Tolentino and Mark Poole.

The Weavers, on the other hand, will be mentored by Jonathan Banal and will be led by NCAA Season 99 MVP and Rookie of the Year Clint Escamis, Mac Tallo, Prince Caperal, Jeepy Faundo, Felipe Chavez, Mark Mantuano, Jimboy Pasturan, Tonton Bringas and King Destacamento.

Back to guide Zamboanga anew is former national mentor Louie Alas, who will be pinning his hopes on twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino, Joseph Terso, Joseph Gabayni, Jayson Apolinario, John Mahari, Adrian Santos, Chito Jaime, Rey Publico, Jason Strait, Lorenzo Subido and Mark Omega.

Alas said Zamboanga is going all-out for the title this year even as he foresees a rough sailing owing to the equally strong lineups of at least 14 teams this year.

After failing to advance to the quarterfinal round last year, Valenzuela has bolstered its fold with the acquisition of Dennis Santos, Orin Catacutan, Chris Dechavez, Val Chauca, Alfonso Gotladera and the 6-foot-9 Ladis Lepalam.

Pacquiao will grace the opening ceremonies starting with the parade of the competing teams and their muses at 4 p.m.

Also expected to be around are Pangasinan’s top officials, including Gov. Ramon Guico III, Rep. Art Celeste, Alaminos Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste, Calasiao Mayor Kevin Roy Quinto Macanlalay and Heatwaves franchise owner Cezar Quiambao.

MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, CEO Joe Ramos and Head of Operations Emmer Oreta will also be on hand for the inaugurals.