With four Mindanao teams competing in MPBL, Zamboanga Valientes determined to prove worth
The Valientes will be led by Reed Juntilla, Leo Avenido, Rob Sanz and Pagadian’s own Jonathan Parreno. Christian Jacinto

EXCITEMENT is running high at the Zamboanga Valientes camp as they prepare for their maiden conference in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

The squad doesn’t boast of star power but the team is confident it has more than enough to compete, relying heavily on veterans Reed Juntilla, Leo Avenido, Rob Sanz and Pagadian’s own Jonathan Parreno.

Avenido still has commitments in the Thai league, but the rest have been preparing for quite a while under head coach Ednie Morones and are confident that they’ll be ready when the conferences opens this month.

“Okay na ang team namin, kumpleto na kami. Marami na kaming tune up na nailaro. Okay na yung preparation namin, talagang handa na kami,” said Juntilla who last played for GlobalPort in 2013.

What pushes the squad to shoot for the stars is the overwhelming support that they’ve been getting since formally announcing the formation of the team.

It’s been a long time since Zamboanga formally had a basketball team this big and with four teams from Mindanao competing in the tournament, the Valientes, backed by Family’s Brand Sardines, are determined to prove their worth.

“Dahan-dahan nag-gel na ang team. Talagang we’re going for the win cause we want to make our kababayans from Zamboanga proud,” said Morones who also vows to find more homegrown talent from the region.

“Alam naman natin.Marami magaling na galing from Zamboanga like (Mark) Barroca, RR Garcia and (Mike) Tolomia so ang gusto talaga natin ay makakita pa ng bagong talents from Zamboanga.

Davao Occidental, General Santos City Warriors and Basilan Steel are also seeing action in the MPBL.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @CAJacinto11