By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – “Not in our house.”
This will be the battlecry of the Bacolod Master Sardines as they compete against the Cebu City Sharks in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) at the University of St. La Salle (USLS) coliseum here on October 17 at 9 p.m.
Bacolod head coach Vic Ycasiano, in a press briefing at the USLS last Tuesday, said the Thursday game will be “very crucial,” adding that whoever wins the match will have the advantage in getting to the playoffs.
“It is really important that we get the support of the people here. This is your team. All the support that you could give is very big for us,” Ycasiano said.
“I hope everything will be okay during the game,” he said.
Moreover, Ycasiano announced the addition of four new players to the team namely Mark Dela Cruz, Mar Villahermosa, Jessie Saitanan, and Jerick Cañada.
“Malaking tulong sila sa team,” Ycasiano said, adding that they still have 14 games left.
He said that three to four players from here will be playing during the game.
The team has a total of 14 players, who have a lot of potential to improve, he added.
He said they’re lucky since they will be playing in their homecourt.
“In any homecourt, you have to play to win,” he said, adding that the support and cheer of the Bacolodnons for the team will boost their confidence to win the match.
“Lahat mahirap kalabanin. But, we teach our players on how to play hard, how to play physical defense and smooth transition often,” he said.
For his part, Dela Cruz said that the game will be an exciting match and they are really aiming to get the homecourt win.
Meanwhile, Bacolod Rep. Greg Gastaya said the game on Thursday is a very important game for Bacolodnons as it will somewhat relive the days when Bacolod or Negros and Cebu were rivals in previous basketball leagues.
Gasataya said Senator Manny Pacquiao, founder of the MPBL, is expected to watch the game on Thursday.
It will be the senator’s second time to watch the game here, following the match of the Bacolod team against the Soccsksargen Marlins team last September 21.
Gasataya thanked Pacquiao for bringing this kind of league in the Philippines and for his continued support.