by Brian Yalung
Games Today (Caloocan Sports Complex)
10 a.m. – Parañaque vs Pateros
12 noon – Opening ceremony
1:30 p.m. – Caloocan vs Valenzuela
3 p.m. – Manila vs Marikina
The Metro League Open Division kicks off today at the Caloocan Gym with the spotlight expected to fall on Joseph Yeo of Manila All-Stars when they clash with the Marikina Shoelanders.
Yeo is just one of the familiar faces in the team – the others are Kenneth Acibar and former CEU Scorpion Mark Cruz.
Yeo last played for the Meralco Bolts in 2017 and though his name has cropped up several times in various leagues nothing has materialized.
But this time, it seems “The Ninja” is back in harness and taking on a bigger role with his new team.
Three games and a colorful opening ceremony highlighted by the traditional parade of teams with their respective muses will kick off the annual tournament previously known as the Metro Basketball Tournament (MBT).
Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan, MMDA chairman Danny Lim and PBA commissioner Willie Marcial have been invited to grace the opening ceremony, along with MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia, MMDA Chief of Staff Michael Salalima, and M-League officials and organizers led by tournament director Bonnie Tan, finance officer Waiyip Chong, deputy tournament director Fidel Mangonon III and Commissioner Glen Capacio.
Opening-day games will pit Parañaque against Pateros at 10 a.m. , Caloocan against Valenzuela at 1:30 p.m. and Manila against Marikina at 3 p.m.
In all, a total of 10 cities divided into the North and South Divisions are seeing action in the one-and-a- half month long tournament which has Spalding as the official ball, Team Rebel Sports as the official outfitter and Synergy 88, San Miguel Corp., World Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit Mineral Water, AlcoPlus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, SM Supermalls and Nature’s Spring as sponsors.