APALIT -- Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) stars, provincial and congressional officials in the province joined the local government unit and participants of the 3rd Mayor Jun D. Tetangco (JDT) basketball tournament during Friday’s opening rites held in front of the town hall.

Among the PBA stars present were Yussef Al Jamal and Jojo Duncil, who grew up in this first class municipality.

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Also gracing the occasion were Vice Governor Joseller “Yeng” Guiao and fourth district Congresswoman Anna York Bondoc-Sagum.

Tetangco said the tournament has been successfully done for three years now, adding that all the 12 barangays -- Sulipan, Cansinala, Colgante, Sucad, Capalangan, Sampaloc, San Juan, Balucuc, Tabuyuc, San Vicente, Paligui, and Calantipe -- joined the said event.

He said this year’s theme is “Playing Together to Make Apalit Better,” which means each and every Apaliteño must do his or her own share in contributing to the betterment of the town not only in sports but in various fields of endeavor.

“Kailangan magtulungan tayong lahat para sumulong pa tayo at ang ating bayan. Sa pakikipagtulungan ng ating mga mamamayan at ang local na pamahalaan walang impossible sa nais natin marating na tagumpay sa sports man ito o sa araw-araw nating pamumuhay,” Tetangco said.

Tetangco also cautioned the players to observe sportsmanship and camaraderie, saying the tournament also aims to develop the skills of young Apaliteños who dream of playing in the UAAP and PBA in the future.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Peter Nucom said the basketball tournament will also help the young athletes to get more into sports activities while at the same time to stay away from illegal drugs.

Nucom said just being able to play basketball or any other kind of sports, they are already winners in their own right.

“It's not whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game that makes you a winner,” Nucom said.

Also attending the rite were members of the Municipal Council, barangay chairmen, kagawads (councilmen), SK members, local government employees and other guests.

Defending champion Barangay Sampaloc, who won the tournament in the past two years (2008 and 2009), will once again go for the grand slam championship.

The opening game was between Balucuc against Calantipe, and the second game was Sampaloc versus Colgante. (Chris Navarro)