THE Zamboanga City Valientes MLV stamped its mark in Australia with three straight CLB (Champions League Basketball) 3×3 titles.
That feat earned the Valientes invitations to play in New Zealand and Japan. And recently, the team management got another invitation from the PBA 3×3 League.
Junnie Navarro, one of the most successful Mindanaoan basketball team owners, together with his partners, wasted no time joining the inaugural 3×3 season of Asia’s first pro league.
According to Navarro, the Valientes’ entry to the PBA more than fulfilled his dream of playing pro ball.
“Before I just dreamt of playing in the PBA,” said Navarro, a former Philippine Youth player. “Now I’ll be a team owner of a PBA team. I’m sure my dad in heaven (Rolando Navarro Sr) is very happy and proud of where the team is heading to. The Navarro family have been supporting sports in Zamboanga for two decades already and my dad started it all.”
“This latest achievement of the team will bring so much pride and honor to the city of Zamboanga not only because the Valientes will be part of the PBA franchise but also because the long-time advocacy of the Navarro family of helping homegrown athletes to get to the PBA continues. Once again, the Valientes will be composed of Zamboanguenos,” added Navarro.
Among the Zamboanguenos who have shine in the PBA are Mark Barroca, RR Garcia, and Mike Tolomia.
Likely to be included in the Valientes roster are full-blooded Zamboangueños Rudy Lingganay, Jens Knuttel, Med Salim, Das Esa, and Gino Jumao-as.
The Zamboanga City Valientes is also supported by Mayor Beng Climaco.