LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The inaugural Congressman Eric Go Yap Basketball Cup fires off this Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Benguet State University gym.
Fourteen teams from the 13 municipalities will see action in the first ever Congressional Cup backed by his office to involve not just young cagers but also veterans in a single round robin competition where all towns could play host.
The congressman will be joined by Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas and the 13 town mayors, who practically are team managers of their respective squads.
Ceremonial rites begin at the BSU gym where university president Felipe Comila will be host.
The 280 players will also take their oath of sportsmanship as they embark on the three month long competitions that will take players to the mining towns of Mankayan in the north and Tuba and Itogon down south and as high as Mount Pulag in Kabayan and the former highest highway in the cloud kissed Atok.
Games will immediately start after the ceremonial toss by Yap, a basketball player himself and a big lover of sports including mixed martial arts.
The highly anticipated teams include La Trinidad’s team A, Itogon and Bokod, all having former varsity players in their line-up.
“It’s anybody’s ball game,” said Bokod mayor Thomas Wales, Jr. when asked on the chances of his team which is expected to be a favorite with former players from the University of the Cordilleras, Saint Louis University and Cordillera Career Development College suiting up.
Games are scheduled on the weekends and on Tuesday and Thursday as well as on Wednesday.
The elimination round is expected to be finished by the first week of November. The top eight teams advance to the quarterfinals with the top four teams enjoying a twice-to-beat edge against the lowest seeded team.
Winners in the quarterfinals advance to the Final Four where the top and lowest seeds face each and the higher seed gets a twice to beat advantage.
The winners in the semis vie for the cup in a best of three format.
Cash prizes are expected to be given to the winners and consolation prizes to the non-winning teams.
Top performing players in both winning and losing team will receive special prizes while the most valuable player will be named including selection for the mythical five and second team.
The awarding ceremony is expected to take place during the last day of the Adivay celebration.