THE Metro League (M-League) is set to hit new heights when it holds its first-ever open conference on Sunday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Previously known as the Metro Basketball Tournament, the league organized by the MMDA gets bigger this time around as it forges a new partnership with the PBA starting this season.
"Aside from the D-League refs and officials, all the game results will be shown sa cube natin during live PBA games, at the same time, sa social media ng PBA ilalagay natin ang resulta," said PBA director for basketball operations Eric Castro.
"Then when we have our D-League next year, a lot of players will be discovered also, who knows makapag laro din sa D-League? That’s why ang partnership talaga na ito, magiging successful to kung tayo’y magtutulugnan," he added.
Several ex-pros will be bolstering the 10-team league which will mostly be comprised of local standouts from each city.
Former La Salle star Joseph Yeo and former JRU forward Mark Cruz will be among the top names in the tournament as they're set to lead Manila while 19-year pro and former MBA MVP John Ferriols is set to make a basketball comeback with Taguig.
With the right balance of ex-pros and aspiring stars, tournament director Bonnie Tan expects this conference to be really competitive.
"Expect natin na mas magiging competitive yung league because from developmental, medyo nag evolve siya to open competition. Yung ibang mga nadiscover na, mababalik natin sa competitive condition nila. Hopefully maging channel tayo na mabigyan sila ng break sa higher leagues," said Tan.
"With the partnership with the PBA, definitely, andun yung channel ng mga new and old players na makapaglaro ulit ng competitive," he added.
Teams will be grouped into two divisions with the North division composed of Quezon City, Marikina, Manila, Caloocan and Valenzuela while the South division will be comprised of San Juan, Taguig, Pateros, Paranaque and Las Pinas.
The top four teams in each division will advance to the semifinals with the top two teams getting a twice to beat advantage.
Winners of each division will be facing each other in a best of three finals.