THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) will kick off the 1st Metropolitan Basketball Tournament (MBT) this coming Friday, April 28, at the San Andres Sports Complex in the city of Manila.
As an initiative of both the MMDA and MMC, General Manager Tim Orbos said the tournament, formed under the Metro Manila Sports Fest (MMSF), not only aims to promote healthy living among the residents in the metropolis, but also to support the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
“This sporting event is a good way to sway our youth to a more productive and healthy way of spending their time particularly this summer break,” Orbos said.
During the opening day, local chief executives in Metro Manila are expected to grace and give their support for their respective teams.
Orbos tapped PBA GlobalPort Batang Pier team manager Bonnie Tan to spearhead the MBT while veteran baller Pido Jarencio was appointed as commissioner of the tournament.
Jarencio said the league is also a means for the country to discover new talents.
“We can have a pool of talents—from players to coaches-- by holding this tournament in Metro Manila,” Jarencio said.
The MBT will feature 18 teams from 17 local governments in Metro Manila plus a team from the MMDA.
The teams will be divided into northern division (Caloocan, Malabon, Marikina, Navotas, Quezon City, and Valenzuela), central division (MMDA, Manila, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan), and the southern division (Las Pinas, Makati, Muntilupa, Paranaque, Pasay and Taguig).
Each of the participating team will be supported by their mayor who will also act as team owners.
The tournament will run for the entire month of May and will be concluded on June 2.
The MBT will first feature basketball players who are 16 years old and below to be followed in the future by an Open Men’s Division on August.