Friday, September 1, 2017
FILIPINO ring icon and Kia Picanto playing coach Manny Pacquiao has thrown his support to the country’s newest basketball league – Maharlika Pilipinas – that will start later this month.
During the league launching at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Manila, Pacquiao said he did not think twice on supporting MPBL, which will have at least 12 teams in its inaugural season.
“Lagi kong sinusuportahan ang basketball. Love nating lahat na mga Pilipino. Sa basketball kasi, malaki ka man o maliit, pwede ka maglaro,” said the 38-year-old boxer and basketball player.
“Binuo natin itong ligang ito para maka-produce ng mga bagong basketball players at upang ma-engganyo ang mga kabataan sa sports,” added the eight-division world boxing champion.
The MPBL will feature five conferences – Rajah Cup (Mindanao Nobility), Datu Cup (Visayan Royalty), Lakan Cup (Luzon Aristocrat), Mumbaki Cup (Ifugao Elder), and Urduja Cup (Pangasinense Princess) – and a home-and-away format.
The team with the most conference championships will be recognized with the Supremo Crown. Each participating locality will also have its own barangay league, also with a home-and-way format.
Participating in the inaugural season are Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna, Pangasinan Quezon, Marikina, San Juan, Makati, Paranaque, Manila, and Malabon.
For leading his team to a perfect performance in the NCAA Season 93 men’s seniors basketball first round, Lyceum of the Philippines Pirates star Jaymart Perez is the runaway leader in the Most Valuable Player award.
Perez, who is planning to join the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, is one of the statistical leaders for Pirates, which currently has a pristine 9-0 win-loss record, after the first round of elimination.
In nine games, Perez led all scorers with an average of 18.6 points a game and tied with three others at second in steals with a norm of 1.6 on top of his other counting stats – 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
But Perez, who transferred to Pirates after Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles released him over academic problems, is more focused on leading his team to its first ever NCAA title than on the individual citation.
“I’m thinking more of helping the team win a championship,” said Perez, who has also played for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Challenge Cup last year. “If I win the MVP, that would be just a bonus.”
Placing behind Perez in the MVP honors are Robert Bolick and Jayvee Mocon of the defending NCAA men’s seniors basketball champion San Beda Red Lions, which is currently in second place with 8-1.
Bolick is the league’s assists leader, with an average of 4.7 dimes a game, and has piled up norms of 13.6 points and 4.7 boards. Mocon has equally impressive numbers, with averages of 12 points, 9.9 caroms, 3.6 assists, and almost a steal and a block a game./PN