A BANNER of 16 teams started their title hunts Sunday morning as the Miners Cup Basketball Invitational Tournament got underway at the Saint Louis University Laboratory High School.

Seven teams will square off in the 18 and under category with Saint Louis University having three teams in the bracket which also include Baguio City National High School, Easter College, Team Kebs, and Team Diyez.

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“It’s all systems go, and we’re very excited,” Zards Gacad, organizer of the Miners’ Cup said of the tournament backed by CLUB 7882 SLU – Boys High School, Gary Lee Leighton, Smart Telecommunications, Leverson Brothers, Chittick Fire and Security Services and Connex.

Seeing action in the men’s division are teams from Philex, Lepanto, Aleria – Musicworld – Minero, and Team Sweetmates.

Gacad said the Team Sweetmates will be a guest team in the men’s competition as part of their build-up training for the upcoming Palarong Pambansa in Tarlac.

Team Sweetmates is the Baguio squad which recently won the championship in the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association secondary basketball.

Five squads will also vie for honors in the women’s division which includes University of the Cordilleras, BCNHS, Saint Louis University Laboratory High School, Team EMS and Team Neris.

“The tournament was organized to provide a venue for young basketball players to experience competitive play and allow them to further develop their skills,” Gacad said.

The tournament will have a single round robin format with the top four teams advancing to the semi-final round and with the top two teams enjoying a twice to beat advantage. (Roderick Osis)