Butch Antonio lauds PSSBC for helping nurture top juniors for Batang Gilas program
Jonas Tibayan of Chiang Kai Shek College is one of seven Batang Gilas mainstays seeing action in the PSSBC.

GILAS Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio lauded the efforts done by the 'godfathers' of the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC), saying the annual tournament has helped enhance the skills and competence of high school players in the country.

“PSSBC is one tough tournament as it gathers the elite high school teams from the country so we are thankful for all their help,” said Antonio during the opening of the 5th PSSBC MEC Networks Cup last Sunday at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym in Tondo.

“We now have a good number of talented players in the Batang Gilas program because of PSSBC.”

Antonio added that the new leadership of Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) is elated with the support of PSSBC 'godfathers' to its various programs, especially the Batang Gilas.

He added that there are ongoing talks for the PSSBC under chairman Leoncio Chua of MEC Networks to become the chief sponsor of Batang Gilas.

Both parties, Antonio said, are looking forward to a two-year deal, but it might be stretched to several years depending on the availability of the funds.

Aside from Chua, other members of the board are vice chairman Rudy Yu of Dickies Underwear, Eduard Tio of Freego, Jimi Lim of Ironcorn Builders, Dioceldo Sy of Blackwater, Cecilio Pedro of Hapee Toothpaste, Jimmy dela Cruz of Ché Lu Bar & Grill and Terry Que of Poly Gloss Automotive Polyurethane System.

“We are very thankful for the generosity of the PSSBC board of governors,” Antonio added.

Other backers of the PSSBC are Mighty Sports, Molten, Philippine Airlines, Frabelle Hotdogs, Davies Paints, Choi Garden, and Hanabishi.

Antonio also noted that seven players in the Batang Gilas program are currently taking part in the tournament, including Jonas Tibayan of Chiang Kai Shek College, Harvey Pagsanjan of Hope Christian HS and Evan Nelle of San Beda.

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