WESTERN Visayas will be well represented in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup as 19 players who traced their roots from the region will be part on the opening day lineup of the 12 teams.
Negros Occidental has the most players from Region VI with 10, mostly from Bacolod City, followed by Iloilo City with five, while Antique and Aklan have one player each lined up.
Meralco Bolts has the most number of WV-based players at three with Ilonggos Antonio Jose Caram and Ken Bono and Bacolodnon Reynel Hugnatan, while Blackwater Elite has two in Raymar Jose (Pontevedra) and Rey Mark Belo (Antique).
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings also has two in the roster in Jeffrei Chan (Bacolod City) and Joe Devance (Escalante City), while Columbian Dyip has Andreas Cahilig (Aklan) and John Paul Calvo (Silay City).
Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters also has two in Bacolodnons LA Revilla and Justin Chua, San Miguel Beermen have Ilonggos Ronald Tubid and Paul Zamar, NLEX Road Warriors also had Raul Soyud (Bago City) and Emman Monfort (Iloilo City).
Other WV-based players in the Philippine Cup are NorthPort Batang Pier’s Juan Paolo Taha (Iloilo City), Alaska Aces’ Siverino Baclao (Bacolod City), TNT KaTropa’s Jericho Cruz (Iloilo City), and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ James Yap (Escalante City).
Adding glitz to the colorful opening ceremony of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup this afternoon at the Philippine Arena were the muses that will be paraded by the 12 competing teams.
Former Miss Universe winner Pia Wurtzbach, former Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles star Alyssa Valdez and veteran actress Sharon Cuneta lead the cast of muses in the ceremony slated at 4 p.m.
Wurtzbach, the 2015 Miss Universe, will represent the Kings, while Valdez will parade for her boyfriend Kiefer Ravena’s team Road Warriors, while Cuneta will join Magnolia Hotshots for her third stint as PBA muse, second with the franchise.
Also parading this afternoon were 2016 Miss International Kylie Verzosa for the defending champions Beermen, primetime actress Yam Concepcion for Fuel Masters, Sam Pinto for KaTropa.
Completing the list of muses are swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi and volleyball standout Myla Pablo (Elite), Aya Fernandez (Batang Pier), Klea Pineda (Aces), Kelley Day (Dyip) Anie Uson (Painters) and Eva Patalinjug (Bolts).
The parade of teams is part of a busy schedule in Sunday’s opening ceremonies which also includes the annual PBA Leo Awards and the first game between Kings and KaTropa./PN