Elite Basketball Club returns on March 27 after 2-year hiatus

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | March 22,2022 - 03:37 PM
Elite Basketball Club

Elite Basketball Club Cebu organizer Bertoni Salazar is flanked by Raul La Rosa (left) of the Elite Hogs and Elite Eagles’ Mark Ynoc (right) who are holding the official home and away jerseys of the league’s upcoming 18th season. | Contributed Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines– The Elite Basketball Club, one of Cebu’s longest-running and biggest basketball leagues, returns with a bang after a two-year hiatus on March 27 at the New Casals Village Gym in Barangay Mabolo, this city.

A total of 12 teams filled with professional and collegiate stars will strut their wares in the 18th season of the tournament that was halted in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the organizers, Bertoni Salazar told CDN Digital that they are very excited to welcome back the teams and players that they haven’t seen in a long time.

“I share the excitement of the players right now that basketball is back officially. Our club league has no player restrictions that’s why we have the most talented rosters ever assembled in our club’s 9-year history with ex-pros, ex-college varsities, and aspiring young talents drawn to play in this comeback season,” said Salazar.

True to his words, the 18th season competition of Elite Basketball Club is filled with players that vied in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup and other regional professional leagues.

Jerick Cañada, Joseph Nalos, and Jaybie Mantilla will take charge of the Elite Wolves. These three crafty guards played in numerous national and regional leagues over the years, including the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.

Cañada played for the ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City Heroes, Nalos was part of the VisMin Super Cup’s inaugural Visayas leg champions, the KCS Computer Specialists-Mandaue City while Mantilla who is a former Cesafi MVP played for the Dumaguete Warriors in VisMin Super Cup’s Visayas Leg and went to win the league’s Mindanao Challenge with AMIN-Zamboanga Sibugay Warriors.

“This is a challenge to all participating players right now to show everyone who the real king of the hardcourt is after the two-year drought,” added Salazar.

Meanwhile, back-to-back champions, the Elite Eagles will rely on former Southwestern University-Phinma Cobra and E-League star Janjan Auditor along with high-flyer and ex-VisMin Super Cup cager Miguel Gastador.

They will be joined by former USJ-R cager RJ Dinolan who played for the ARQ Builders Cebu in the Chooks 3×3 Basketball in Luzon and former University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancer John Abad.

On the other hand, ex-ARQ cager Monbert Arong leads the Elite Hogs along with Dyll Roncal and Shaq Imperial who played for the Specialists in the VisMin Super Cup.

Jax Bautista who coached Imperial and Roncal with the Specialists in the VisMin Super Cup suits up for the Elite Bears.

Other ex-VisMin Super Cup stars Adrian Lao and Patrick Cabahug will play for the Elite Rhinos.

The rest of the teams competing in the tournament are the Elite Cheetahs, Elite Chameleons, Elite Vipers, Elite Barracudas, Elite Falcons, Elite Bulldogs, and the Elite Raptors.

The league also serves as one of the first major sporting events to be held in Cebu City after the Cebu City Government allowed the face-to-face competition last February 25.

Salazar also registered the league to the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) to certify that they will follow the sports guidelines and the general health and safety protocols throughout the season as mandated by the CCSC.

OPENING GAME SCHEDULE:
Bears vs Raptors at 3 PM
Rhinos vs Bulldogs at 4:30 PM
Eagles vs Falcons at 6 PM
Wolves vs Barracudas at 7:30 PM

/rcg

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TAGS: barangay Mabolo, basketball, Cebu‬, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, collegiate stars, Elite Basketball Club, Elite Basketball Club returns, March 27, New Casals Village Gym, pro players, VisMin Super Cup

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