By Jerome Lagunzad
Games September 10
11 a.m. – Makati vs Parañaque
12:30 p.m. – Manila vs Marikina
2 p.m. – Quezon City vs San Juan
Aspiring ballers within the metropolis has another platform to showcase their skills.
Buoyed by the success of its initial staging in the summer, the Metropolitan Basketball Tournament returns to action with its senior division on Sept. 10 at the Makati Coliseum, with 13 cities within Metro Manila and a guest team from host Metro Manila Development Authority battling for cage supremacy.
A joint project of the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council, the MBT intends to serve as the ultimate battleground for promising cagers aged 16 to 24 and legal residents of the cities that they are representing, with organizers eyeing to discover and develop fresh talents who might be future members of the national team, pro league squads and amateur quintets.
According to tournament organizers, headed by MBT tournament director Bonnie Tan, each team will be composed of 15 players, with two of them between 23 to 24 years old, another two aged 21 to 22 and the remaining 11 members aged 16 to 20.
“Talagang sinala natin ng mabuti ‘yung mga makakasali para magkaroon ng balance among the participating teams. With that, mabibigyan natin ng magandang laban ‘yung small cities against the big ones,” said Tan, who also serves as MMDA sports consultant.
The protagonists in the two-month long tourney which has Barangay 143 as main sponsor will be divided into two divisions. Caloocan, Manila, Marikina, Navotas, Quezon City, San Juan and Valenzuela are pooled in the North Division while Las Piñas, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pateros, Parañaque, Taguig and MMDA comprise the South Division.
The tourney format will see each team playing at least six games in the classification phase, with the top seed earning an outright entry to the semifinal round and the remaining squads squaring off in three knockout matches in the quarterfinals.