EXPECT a smoker when four star-studded teams with an eye on the championship return to action today (Oct.1) in the 2016 MBL Open basketball tournament at the Rizal Coliseum.
Defending champion Macway Travel Club battles Wang’s Ballclub and FEU-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation tackles New San Jose Builders in a pair of explosive games starting 7 p.m.
Both Macway and FEU-NRMF have won their opening-day assignments against San Jose Builders and Wang’s Ballclub, but not after encountering difficult moments during the crucial stages of their games.
Macway, which bagged the title of the 2016 MBL First Conference last May, will be bannered by ex-PBA players Bonbon Custodio, Nino Marquez and EJ Feihl and veterans Pol Santiago, Mark Fampulme, Jemal Viscarra and Erwin Sta. Maria.
Custodio, Marquez and Santiago provided the key baskets in Macway’s 90-74 win over San Jose in the opener of the prestigious tournament sponsored by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear and Gerry’s Grill.
Handling Macway are coach Daniel Martinez, manager Rey Alao and owner Erick Kirong.
Wang’s Ballclub will be another tough customer, however.
Led by Jonathan Banal and Macky Acosta and MBL chairman Alex Wang, coach Pablo Lucas and assistant coach Rodel Torralba, Wang’s will be hoping for a rebound against Macway.
Backing up Banal and Acosta are Jason Perez, Mark Montuano, Rey Publico, Cedric Labingisa and brothers Jeff and John Montemayor.
Like Macway, FEU-NRMF will parade a line-up built around a high-leaping Fil-Canadian sensation Clay Crellin, Cameroonian import Moustapha Arafat and former PBA players Marlou Aquino, Arnold Gamboa, Egay Billones, Eric Rodriguez and Roider Cabrera.
Handled by veteran coach Pido Jarencio and supported by FEU-NRMF administrator Nino Reyes, the Fairview-based team opened fire with an 85-74 win over Wang’s at the Aquinas gym last Sept. 21.
San Jose, which is playing under coach Ranier Carpio, manager: Jomar Acuzar and owner Jerry Acuzar, will rely on Jayson Grimaldo, Nikko Lao, Lucky Boy Palogan, Jaymark Mallari, Gianne Rivera, Kevin Sumay, JP Baliday, Darry Aurelio, Josh Nicholas, Aeron Decano, Jon Acuzar, Jeff Acuzar, Etong Acuzar, JP Cruz, RR Telles, Allen Dela Cruz and Jerc Baylen.
Anthony Sulit is the commissioner, while the NARECOM is the officiating arm.