Game of the Rising Stars-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
AFTER a one-year hiatus, the much-awaited and longest-running youth cagefest in Mindanao opened without much fanfare on September 8 at the Gaisano Grand Citimall entertainment center.
It was the first of two batches of opening rites for the 9th GS Cup basketball season this year featuring participants from the mini, cadet junior boys 1 and 2 and junior girls divisions. Games, however, are expected to start at the GS SkyGym before the month ends. The opening of the college men's 1 and 2 and women's divisions, meanwhile, is slated Oct. 13.
Gaisano Grand Citimall Ad and Promo Management head Karla Giorgia P. Corcino welcomed participants, saying that the new season has a record-breaking 89 teams: 12 in mini boys 12-under, 16 in cadet boys 14-under, eight in junior boys 1 17-under, 22 in junior boys 2 17-under, nine in college men 1, 10 in college men 2 and six in college women.
"A total of 303 games will be played in four months by 1,335 players of these 89 teams. We are truly glad that despite our absence last year, this year's turnout of teams even surpassed the 2010 season," Corcino said.
She apologized that they have to cancel the 2011 season of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP)-sanctioned league due to rehabilitation works at the SkyGym's roof.
Corcino, however, assured that the games of the ninth edition will go on as scheduled until the champions will be crowned in December.
The Ateneo de Davao University is defending champion in mini boys while Holy Child School of Davao will try to keep its cadet and junior boys 1 titles.
The Ford Academy of the Arts junior boys 2 and Assumption College of Davao junior girls teams are also reigning titlists along with Jose Maria College (college men's 1), Mats College of Technology (college men's 2) and University of Mindanao (college women).
SBP executive director Renauld "Sonny" Barrios, who came with Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) spokesperson Joey Romasanta to grace the opening ceremonies, hailed the GS Cup organizers and SBP Mindanao Cluster B under director Regino "Boy" Cua for joining efforts in promoting youth basketball in this part of the country.
He was impressed by the huge number of participating teams, adding that: "The future PBA stars will come from you."
Barrios also said that most may not make it to the PBA but he urged players to carry on the discipline and the values learned from the sport so that they will come out shining in the game of life.
The GS Cup is indeed the breeding ground of future basketball stars the likes of former UM Wildcats Peter June Simon and Samigue Eman who are in the current rosters of PBA's B-Meg Llamados and Alaska Aces, respectively.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 16, 2012.