PUERTO PRINCESA - Competition for four final slots in two age group brackets of the Palawan Basketball Association (PaBA) resumed recently here.
Ten towns on the main island (Aborlan, Bataraza, Brooke’s Point, El Nido, Roxas, Taytay, Quezon, Rizal and San Vicente) are represented by one team per age bracket, while Palawan City fielded three teams per.
The LGU-based teams are divided into three conferences, with the towns of El Nido, Roxas, San Vicente and Taytay making up the North Conference; the town of Aborlan and the three teams from Puerto Princesa making up the Central Conference; the LGU teams from Bataraza, Brooke’s Point, Narra, Quezon and Rizal make up the Southern Conference.
PaBA is a joint project of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) and involves 13 towns on the main island of Palawan competing for the championships of the 23-and-under (juniors) and 24-and-above (seniors) age groups.
The winning teams each win a two-classroom school building worth P1 million for its LGU in addition to cash prizes for its players. The runners-up each get a P500,000 one-classroom school building and cash.
The league fired off last March 29 at the City Coliseum of Puerto Princesa in simple ceremonies led by provincial and LGU officials and PaBA organizers headed by project director and former national coach Jose Lipa and executive director and Nickel Asia Corporation vice president JB Baylon. (RTNMC is a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corporation).
PBA stars Jireh Ibanes (born in Roxas, Palawan) and Gary David were the guests and inspirational speakers at the opening rites.
Team standings are as follow: Northern Conference: (Srs) Roxas (2-0), Taytay (1-0), El Nido (1-0), (Jrs) Taytay (2-0), El Nido (2-0), Roxas (0-2), San Vicente (0-2); Central: (Srs) Puerto Princesa (3-0), Aborlan (1-2), Puerto Norte (1-2), Central (1-2), (Jrs) Puerto Central (3-0), Puerto Sur (2-1), Aborlan (1-2) and Puerto Norte (0-3); Southern; (Srs) Bataraza (2-0), Brooke’s Point (1-1), Narra (1-1), (Jrs) Quezon (1-0), Rizal (1-0), Brooke’s Point (0-2), Bataraza (0-2).
The top team in the Northern and Central Conferences and the top two from the Southern Conference will advance to the overall finals.
The basketball league will be followed by a province-wide series of skills clinics from July to November to be conducted by ex-PBA players under the guidance and supervision of Lipa. A referees’ and coaches’ clinic , each a weeklong affair, were conducted last March with national referee Romy Guevara, Lipa and coaches Eric Castro and Jojo Villa as resource persons.