WITH a total 48 teams, it will be anybody's ball game when the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) 3X3 regional eliminations start at 8 a.m. Saturday, October 5, at Rizal Memorial Colleges (RMC) Petro Gazz Arena.
SBP-Davao operations head Ronel Leuterio, in Thursday's (October 3) Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at The Annex of SM City Davao, said they held an inter-barangay eliminations for out-of-school youth last Tuesday with the top two teams advancing to the regional finals to give grassroots squads opportunity to compete with more experienced private and public school teams.
"When are you going to give them the opportunity if we are not going to start it. Now that we have started it, the barangays will look forward to it every year. They will now have one year preparation and can get better and better to compete with the rest of the school-based teams. Maybe, they will also get chance to be given scholarships since coaches will be around," Leuterio said, adding that a total of 32 teams will be competing in the boys division and 16 in the girls event for 18 years old and below players.
Barangay 10-A coach Armando Amancio, for his part, said the league is an "excellent venue for OSY to be given a break to show their respective talents in basketball."
His team, composed of Joemarie dela Cruz, Vincent Troyo, John Renan and Mark Baguio, emerged champion after beating Maa in Tuesday's (October 1) inter-barangay eliminations. They all came from different puroks and were either most valuable players or most improved players in their
Coach Dennis Bague of girls champion team Barangay 76-A, meanwhile, said her players will have to lean on their teamwork and give their best as they will be up against a very strong field. She was pertaining to Leonella Javier, Mary Jane Ortega, Joanne Arab and Chady Bucao.
Coach Dennis Lumayag of girls runner-up Barangay Sto. Niño team, for his part, said: "Maenjoy lang nila ang game, show sportsmanship. Nalipay na among barangay makita sila na makasulod sa regional finals (As long as they enjoy the game, show sportsmanship. Our barangay is already happy they reached the regional finals)."
Aside from Davao City teams, visiting squads Agusan Sur National High School, SCT-Agusan Sur, Caraga, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Santo Tomas and Mati City will also vie for honors in the league organized by SBP under regional director Glenn Escandor in coordination with Catalunan Grande Barangay Chairperson January Duterte.
The regional boys and girls champions will book tickets to the national SBP 3x3 on October 28 and 29 in Manila.