LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The biggest basketball league in the province – the 1st Governor’s Cup Inter-Town Basketball Tournament 2016 – is set to open this December 17.
This was announced during the solidarity meeting where Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III met the organizers, coaches and some players last December 1 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center, Capitol Compound here.
“We are mounting this tournament to teach among young cagers fair play, honor and most especially – respect in representing their hometowns and cities. We want players who are competitive yet are of good character,” he said.
A pet project of the provincial chief executive, the tournament will see 14 best-selected cagers ages 18-24 years old of each participating town and city in the province who will compete in the playoffs and the finals.
From the competing squads, the best players will be picked to form Pangasinan Teams 1 and 2, who will represent the province in the Philippine National Games and other invitational matches.
Gov. Espino said that this would open doors for them to be spotted by collegiate and professional basketball league coaches, with high hopes of being drafted.
To further bank on the athletic potential of Pangasinenses, the governor bared that the province will open its own sports academy in January next year. “This is in line with our ultimate dream of producing the first Olympic gold medalist for the country,” he said.
A basketball-volleyball tourney among employees of local government unit is also currently in the works.
In concluding his speech, Gov. Espino pledged his full support to the development of sports and youth in the province as started by his predecessor, now the Congressman Amado T. Espino, Jr. of the 5th district.
Pangasinan Sports Consultant Modesto Operaña said that about 34 towns and cities in the province will participate in the maiden bow of the provincial league.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Regional Director Edilberto Abalos discussed the guidelines of the games during the meeting, as well as announcing a separate training for the coaches.
Abalos said that the games would be a great avenue to groom homegrown cagers from each local government unit, stressing that only bonafide residents of respective towns and cities are pooled for their teams.
Also joining them in the meeting was Assistant Provincial Sports Coordinator Marlon Domalanta.
By Dexter A. See