ZAMBOANGA Valientes MLV posted another milestone as it formally became part of the Australia 3×3 family on New Year’s eve.
This was confirmed by Matt Hollard, the CEO of the Champions League Basketball 3×3 in Australia, who cited the Zamboanga Valientes as “the first Filipino team to play in the official CLB 3×3 league,” which is the biggest in Australia and New Zealand.
Fielding an All-Zamboangueno roster, the Valientes earned the distinction as the most popular team in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup held in Calamba, Laguna, in October.
It was in the 3×3 Christmas Hustle in Canberra, Australia, however, that the Valientes, the only Asian team entered, made their mark when they bested three Australia teams and an African selection en route to the crown.
The Valientes, led by Barangay Tumaga native Chris “Peng” Concepcion, will continue their foreign journey and seek their second title on January 9 when they compete at Bendigo Stadium in regional Victoria.
Completing the team are Melbourne-based Eric Miraflores, formerly of the Zamboanga Valientes in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, Alex Compton, who traces his roots in Zamboanga, and Sudanese-Australian Duom Dawan.
Zamboanga Valientes co-owners Michael Venezuela and Rolando Navarro Jr., see a bright future for the team in 2021.
According to Navarro, a former Philippine Youth team player who is doubling up as Valientes coach, Venezuela wants more international opportunities for local players, especially Zamboanguenos, to gain more exposure and carve their name in 3×3 basketball.