The MP Hotel GenSan of Congressman Emmanuel Pacquiao is fielding his own team in the PBA D-League starting this season in Manila.
“Yes, we will be joining but we still have to finalize our line-up,” team manager Bobby Pacquiao said.
His former player, Louie Medalla, who like him, was also earlier drafted in the PBA, will be his assistant team manager.
Head coach is Arvin Bonleon, with Don Mendoza and Ramon Adriano as the assistant coaches.
Pacquiao, who also manages his brother’s MP Warriors basketball team in GenSan, said they now have only five remaining players due to the age limit in the PBA D-League.
On his PBA career, Pacquiao said that he will continue to aspire to play in the Asia’s first pay for play league.
Bonleon, on the other hand, said they are eyeing to get the services of two players from Davao City -- Aldren Blanco, 6’1 of University of Mindanao, and Archie Bacolod, 6’2 of DMMA College of Southern Philippines.
Among the possible draft picks are 6’6 Joseph Ambohot, formerly of Agro College Sailors and now with the Lyceum University in Manila; 6’1 Mikhail Lancelot Abude of San Beda; 6’3 Mark Anthony Olayon, formerly of the Holy Child College of Davao and now with University of the East, and 5’9 Christopher Masaglang of Holy Trinity College-GenSan.
Pacquiao’s team, formerly known as the MP Warriors, ruled the Kalilangan Festival Commercial basketball league last February by beating reigning Kadayawan sa Dabaw Invitational Commercial champion Gold Star Davao.
Pacquiao’s team also finished first runner-up in the Araw ng Dabaw Invitational Open league in March.
Ironically, Bonleon’s elder brother, Nonoy, is a coaching staff with their rival Cagayan Valley Rising Suns team in the PBA D-League.
The other teams are the Tanduay Light, Café France Bakers - Centro Escolar University, Cebuana Lhuillier Gems, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants, Wang's Ballclub Couriers, Racal Motorsales, Bread Story, AMA Computer University, M-Builders and Hapee Toothpaste Complete Protectors.
The PBA D-League was conceptualized after the proposed merger of the Philippine Basketball League and Liga Pilipinas failed after holding the Tournament of the Philippines which was composed by PBL and LP teams.
Commissioner Chito Salud then proposed the formation of a D-League, which will fill the void left by the PBL.
The PBA Board of Governors approved the proposal on January 25, 2011.*PNA
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