THE ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes is raring to bring pride and glory to the city as they compete in the upcoming regional basketball league called the Pilipinas Vis-Min Super Cup.
The team was launched on Friday afternoon, Jan. 15, 2021, at the Popo’s Lechon in Lapu-Lapu City. At the event were team owner Jason Arquisola, team manager Rico Amores and head coach Rommel Rasmo. Also present were league secretary-general Chelito Caro and ambassador Dondon Hontiveros, who said the league is a “welcome development” for the local sports scene.
Hontiveros said he has already met officials and representatives of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the Department of Health, the Emergency Operations Center medical personnel and the Philippine National Police and relayed that he got nothing but support.
“With the UAAP, NCAA and Cesafi canceled, there’s no movement involving sports and there aren’t any more opportunities for players, officials and referees,” said Hontiveros, who is also a Cebu City councilor.
“Covid is here. If we continue to live in fear, we’ll be restricted some more. There are means how to go about it,” Hontiveros added.
The league ambassador also shared that the league will implement a bubble setup where players and officials are restricted to shuttling back and forth between the playing venue and the hotel. Hontiveros added that strict health protocols would be implemented, including regular swab tests for everyone.
“This has to be a partnership between players, officials and the management,” Hontiveros said.
Caro also gave an update regarding the league’s application for professional status with the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) headed by chairman Abraham Mitra.
“We have already submitted the requirements and we’re just waiting for the approval of the GAB,” said Caro.
Team owner Arquisola also shared that he is grateful to have this platform with the players, whom he is very close with.
“Our family has always been passionate about basketball and I’m thankful to have this platform,” Arquisola said. “And besides, they’re not just players, they’re family to me.”
The team is led by former pros Jojo Tangkay, Jerick Cañada and Jason Melano. Also on the team are Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League standouts Ferdinand Lusdoc, Hafer Mondragon, John Abad, Rino Berame, Edrian Lao, Monbert Arong, Franz Arong and Eman Calo. Local studs Jerry Lumongsod, Luther Justiniani, Lloyd Solis and Miguel Tabaloc are also on the squad.
“For sure mu-kumbate ni nga team,” said Justiniani, a former star of the University of San Jose-Recoletos. (JNP)