ORGANIZERS of the Rain or Shine-Sumilang Invitational Basketball Tournament are looking to take quality basketball to the barangay level by bringing in PBA legends for the event.
Lead organizer Buddy Encarnado said he is bringing in several PBA legends who will play right after the championship game of the week-long tournament on April 27 at the Sumilang Covered Court in Pasig City.
The PBA legends game is expected to bring added excitement to the tournament which serves as a preseason tournament for the National Athletic Association for Schools, Colleges, and Universities (Naascu).
The tournament is set to begin on Wednesday.
Among the PBA legends that Encarnado, longtime manager of Sta. Lucia team and a former PBA chairman, are Alvin Patrimonio, Johnny Abarrientos, Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino, Alvin Teng, and Ronnie Magsanoc.
"I have invited my former players to play with my Sta. Lucia team," said Encarnado during Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
More than bringing the PBA legends in the tournament, Encarnado said the tournament aims to inspire aspiring players in the barangay level.
"In my desire to bring top-notch college basketball to the barangay level, I have tied up with nine members of the Naascu and one member from the UCBL," said Encarnado.
Centro Escolar University, last year's winner of the inaugural UCBL and a many-time champion in the Naascu, leads the cast of teams competing in the week-long cagefest.
The Scorpions are bracketed in Group B along with Manuel L. Quezon University, Our Lady of Fatima University, City University of Pasay, and De Ocampo Memorial Colleges.
Reigning Naascu champion St. Clare, meanwhile, heads the list of teams in Group A where it will be joined by Technological Institute of the Philippines, Philippine Merchant Marine School, AMA Online University, and Philippine Christian University.