Batangas City Athletics look to retain core as they go for back-to-back MPBL titles
Batangas fielded the core of Tanduay's last D-League team in the first conference of the MPBL. Photo from the MPBL Facebook page

BATANGAS City Athletics looks to keep its team intact as it looks goes for back-to-back titles after topping the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta-Rajah Cup.

Moncrief Rogado, Bong Quinto, Paul Varilla, Tey Teodoro, Jaymo Eguilos, Adrian Santos, Val Acuna, Mark Olayon, Denice Villamor, Jason Grimaldo, Julius Pasculado, Lester Alvarez won the title for the Tanduay-backed team.

Tanduay basketball operations head Lawrence Chongson, who used the core of its PBA D-League team for the MPBL stint, hopes to be able to retain most of the players for next conference even as the league allows direct hire for expansion teams.

“The main priority is to strengthen the team,” said Chongson.

“Hopefully, we could keep the team intact as much as possible para nandun ‘yung chemistry at ma-sustain namin. May ‘protect 9’ so hopefully, we would be able to keep our core.”

Batangas City beat Muntinlupa in four games in the MPBL final. Asia Brewery has been participating in several leagues, and the MPBL win adds to the trophy collection after winning several Philippine Basketball League titles in the 1990s.

“If you notice, remnants ‘yan ng D-League team namin. Nakalamang kami kahit papaano sa ibang teams na majority of our players, galing pa sa D-League namin,” said Chongson.

Chongson also added the hiring of Mac Tan as head coach of Batangas City worked wonders for the Athletics.

“Nagbigay siya ng kakaibang energy, bagong sigla, bagong enthusiasm. Being a young coach, bago siya, nakapag-provide siya ng ganung energy at nag-respond ‘yung mga bata,” said Chongson.

The company has no immediate plan to return to the PBA D-League or the Asean Basketball League where it previously sponsored Alab Pilipinas for part of this season , according to Chongson.

“Right now, wala,” said Chongson, when asked if the team has plans to join other leagues.

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