SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan has been invited as special guest for the opening ceremony of the 3rd Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship Ironcon Builders Cup on Saturday at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym in Manila.
Also invited to grace the opening ceremony are PBA Chairman Pato Gregorio, Ricky Vargas of Talk ’N Text and SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios.
The opening which starts at 12 noon is going to be a star-studded affair as Gilas Pilipinas team, led by coach Chot Reyes and Jimmy Alapag will receive the P1 million bonus from three PSSBC Governors – Hapee Toothpaste’s Dr. Cecilio Pedro, Blackwater-Ever Bilena’s Dioceldo Sy and Freego’s Eduard Tio – for their inspiring performance in the Fiba World Cup in Spain.
“It is with great pride that we welcome Mr. Pangilinan, he’s the one who encouraged us to bond together and to put up this tournament,” said PSSBC chairman Jimi Lim. “Like Mr. Pangilinan, our main trust is to help these players achieve their goals not only to become collegiate stars but also to become Gilas players someday.”
“We have at least 10 players who can be tapped as possible members of Gilas Cadet training pool and a number of promising players since some of them are barely 15 years old,” added Sy.
With the support of other Fil-Chinese businessmen, including Rain or Shine’s Terry Que, Dickies Underwear’s Rudy Yu, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum’s Jimmy dela Cruz and MEC Computers’ Leoncio Chua, the league has turned into a major event among high school players since its humble beginning three years ago.
Aside from TV coverage on Aksyon 5, the league requires no participation fee from the top four teams of UAAP, NCAA and Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball League.
“That’s our own way in helping sustain the growth of basketball in the country, we will support SBP’s grassroots programs all the way,” said Tio.
Also expected to grace the opening rites are Blackwater’s Welbert Loa and star players of Rain or Shine, Blackwater, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum and Hapee Toothpaste in the PBA D-League.