BUOYED by its success in 2018, the Metro League -- a joint undertaking of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) -- is set to grow bigger and better in 2019.
Metro Manila Sports Festival tournament director Bonnie Tan said they hope to duplicate, if not surpass, the gains of the M-League last year with more teams, more players and more sponsors coming in to join in the 2019 season.
“With the continued support of the MMDA and the PBA, the Metro Manila Sports Fest grew by leaps and bounds in 2018," said Tan, the brain behind the widely-successful Metro-wide basketball and volleyball competitions also known as “Liga ng Lungsod Ko.”
“But we expect 2019 M-League to be a lot bigger and better in terms of participation and quality of games with more cities and their constituents coming in,” added Tan, also the team manager of NorthPort Batang Pier in the PBA.
Tan, a former player himself before turning his sights into coaching and then sports management, said the M-League is scheduled to open its first conference in 2019 with the import-flavored tournament later this month.
“The entry of imports, including Fil-Ams, is expected to raise the level of competition in the coming conference,” added Tan.
M-League Commissioner Glen Capacio, for his part, said M-League takes pride in helping in the development of Cyrus Tabi, who played for the Quezon City Juniors Capitals.
Tabi was selected by Columbian Dyip with the 15th overall pick in last month’s PBA Rookie Draft.
“With the kind of competition in the M-League, it is not surprising to see more outstanding young players, like Cyrus Tabi, emerging to stardom,” said Capacio, who took over from Coach Pido Jarencio as commissioner last year.
“Nakikinabang po talaga ng malaki yung mga homegrown players natin kasi sa experience nila playing against pro players and the quality of game we have at M-League,” added Capacio.
Last Nov. 20, Valenzuela trounced Caloocan, 119-107, to rule the North while Taguig survived San Juan, 88-77, in overtime to win the South in the Metro League Open basketball tournament at the Tañada Homeowners Association Covered Court in Valenzuela.
The victories of Valenzuela and Caloocan enabled them to emerge as champions in their respective divisions in the tournament supported by Excellent Noodles, Nature’s Spring Water, 1-Pacman Partylist, Hopewell Sales Corp., Star Bread, Frabelle Foods, Regan Industrial Sales, Inc., Glitter.ph, Alcoplus and Archie’s Bespoke Bar + Grill,