Things are definitely looking up for basketball in the local front.
The Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) 11 bared its long-haul plan rolled out for the experimental Go-Duterte basketball team beyond its participation in the forthcoming four-team 2018 Kadayawan Invitational Basketball Tournament which gets going on Thursday at the Davao City Recreation Center.
“Definitely the Kadayawan tournament is just a take off although we have taken the team to an out of town tournament and won in Surigao, there are a lot of things that will happen for the program,” said SBP 11 liaison officer and team manager Ronel Leuterio who handles the basketball development program in the region headed by SBP regional director Glenn Escandor, also the Adviser on Sports of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Leuterio said the plan is to keep the core of the team and train year-round with some of the players in the roster as practice players. The squad eventually will be ticked off to play in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) in the league’s next season.
“To join the MPBL (that is our long term plan). Since we are getting all Davao players yung Davao Go Duterte is our team that will search for local talents,” Leuterio told Edge Davao.
The team is eyeing the services of Dabawenyo standouts now in the UAAP and NCAA like Alvin Pasaol of the University of the East, Gab Dagangon og Perpetual Help, Allyn Bulanadi of San Sebastian, Jose Presbitero of San Beda, and Francis Gabriel Escandor of De La Salle-Zobel.
At the moment, only the 18-year old Escandor, who stands 6-2, is already in the team’s roster.
The Davao-Go-Duterte team is mentored by head coach Miggy Solitaria, who is back afer a stint with the De La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP as one of the assistants to former coach Aldin Ayo.
The current roster also includes Shooster Olago, Leandry Sancho, Brian Mago, Glenn Manlangit, James Linares, Maloney Taranza, Ivan San Diego, James Doblado, Joshua Aguilon, Bon Bulac, Miguel Pacheco, Francis Espiritu, and Dave Soriano.
The team will be tested against the National University Bulldogs under coach Jamike Jarin and the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers under coach Aldin Ayo and the University of Cebu Webmasters under coach Yayoy Alcoseba.
Meantime, Leuterio said the decision to take part in the Asian Games men’s basketball is the “right move to do.”
“Winning was not the point of the Asian games . It’s the participation that counts, sometimes this is lost in the discussion,” the former Davao Eagles coach said. “It’s a matter of priority naman lang and try to avoid politics. We both can agree na highly politicised ang membership sa national teams.”