PBA supports M-League

September 25, 2018
Metro Manila Sports Fest
M-League officials -- (from left to right) Tournament Deputy Director Fidel Mangonon III, Technical Head Lou Gatumbato, Tournament Director Bonnie Tan, PBA Operations Director Eric Castro, MMDA Chief-of-Staff Michael Salalima, MMDA Sports Director Cris Saruca Finance Director Waiyip Chong and Commissioner Glen Capacio --are shown in photo during the M-League press conference at MMDA head office in Makati City. Photo courtesy of Peter Baltazar

THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and  Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are teaming up anew to discover young and talented players with the staging of the M-League Open starting this Sunday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

Both the PBA  and the MMDA announced their decision to continue to provide a regular venue for aspiring young players and even veterans who can still play the game during the formal media launch  of the M- League at the MMDA Bldg. in Guadalupe, Makati last Monday.

“The PBA is excited with this  partnership with the MMDA, through the Metro Manila Sportsfest and the M-League. This is actually our second year now,” said PBA operations  director Eric  Castro, who represented PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.

Castro said the PBA will provide the necessary assistance to the MMDA and the MMSF organizing committee to ensure the success of the competition.

Castro was  joined in the launch by MMDA Sports Director Atty. Cris  Saruca, M-League  tournament director  Bonnie Tan, finance  officer Waiyip Chong, technical head Lou Gatumbato and newly-appointed commissioner  Glenn Capacio.

“The M-League, which will be officiated by  PBA D-League referees, prides itself  in being a league truly representative of the cities as every team is required to have at least  10 homegrown players in its 16-man, 15-to-play roster,” said Tan.

In  the M-League, a total of 10 cities divided into the North and South Divisions are seeing action in the one-and-a- half  month long tournament which has Spalding as the  official ball, Team Rebel Sports as  the   official   outfitter  and   Synergy  88, San Miguel Corp., World Balance, Frabelle  Foods, Summit Mineral Water,   AlcoPlus,  Gerry’s Grill,  Excellent Noodles, SM Supermalls and Nature’s  Spring as sponsors.

Opening-day action on Sunday will pit  Paranaque against Pateros in the first game at 10 a.m.,  Caloocan against  Valenzuela at 1:30 p.m. and Manila against Marikina at 3 p.m.

Seven ex-PBA players and atleast nine PBA D-League veterans  are  listed in  the lineups of the participating teams.

The former PBA stars in the list are Joseph Yeo and Mark Cruz of  Manila, John Ferriols of Taguig, MC Caceres and Philip Butel of Marikina, Ariel Capus of Pateros and Arnold Gamboa of Valenzuela.

The PBA D-League veterans hoping  to  reboot their careers are Kenneth  Acibar (Manila), Kojak Melegrito (Quezon City),  Reneford  Ruaya  (Valenzuela),  JohnTayongtong (Valezuela),   and  Gwayne Capacio (Paranaque).

The launching of the M-League  comes on  the  heels of the successful  staging  of  the  16-under and  24-under  tournaments, previously known as the  Metro Basketball Tournament.