Metro Basketball Tournament takes act to next level with staging of men's competitions
Participants in the MBT seniors tournament are shown with meet director Bonnie Tan (middle). Not in photo is league commissioner Pido Jarencio.

FROM boys to men.

The Metro Basketball Tournament has leveled up its competition by staging its seniors division meet starting on Sept 10 at the Makati Coliseum.

A total of 14 teams divided into North and South Divisions will be seeing action in the follow up event to the highly-successful MBT juniors division held last summer by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in tandem with the Metro Manila Council.

Marikina, which ruled the 16-and-under tournament, will lead the cast for the seniors edition that will feature 15 players per team – two between 23-24 years old, two between 21-22 years old, and the rest 16 to 20 years of age.

Others seeing action are the cities of Caloocan, Manila, Navotas, Quezon City, San Juan, and Valenzuela joining Marikina in the North Division and Las Pinas, Mandaluyong, Makati, MMDA, Paranaque, Pateros, and Taguig comprising the South.

“These MBT tournaments are hoping to rediscover and develop the talent of our youth, aside for opening doors for them like athletic scholarship offers,” said tournament director and MMDA sports consultant Bonnie Tan during the formal launching of the meet at the Archie’s Bespoke Sports Grill + Bar recently.

PBA great and former Globalport coach Pido Jarencio will be the commissioner for the second straight edition, while Billy Reyes is assistant tournament director.

“Mahalin po sana natin ang mga manlalaro n gating siyudad sa pamamagitan ng pagsuporta at panunuod ng Metro Basketball Tournament. Sama-sama tayo – ‘Isang Liga, Isang Laro Para sa Pagbabago,” said Jarencio in echoing the theme of the league.

Marikina battles fancied Manila right on opening day, serving as the main game of the meet’s tripleheader, which has Barangay 143 as main sponsor, Spalding as official ball, and DZR as media partner.

Makati and Paranaque kick off hostilities at 11:00 a.m. before Quezon City and San Juan clash in the final game at 2 p.m.

Format of the tournament which has San Miguel Corporation, World Balance, and Higer Bus as major sponsors, will be a single round-robin per division or a total of six games per team in the classification phase. The top ranked team in both divisions will advance to the semifinals outright, and will have a twice-to-beat edge against its opponent.

The quarterfinals will be 2 vs. 7,  3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5 for each division, with the winners advancing to the semis, where they will be squaring off with the No. 1 team.

The two survivors in the semis will figure in a best-of-three finals.

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The San Andres Complex in Manila, Hagonoy Sports Complex in Taguig, and the Paranque Sports Complex are the other venues of the event also supported by Excellent Noodles, Nature’s Spring Water, 1-Pacman Partylist, Hopewell Sales Corp., Gatorade, Star Bread, Frabelle Foods, Regan Industrial Sales, Glitter.ph, Alcoplus, Primadonna, and Archie’s Bespoke Bar+Grill.

Games are live through the MBT’s Facebook page, Metro Manila Sports Fest, and Livestats links can be accessed through http://mmsf.web.geniussports.com/and/or www.mbt.ph

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph