By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Ilonggo hoopers trooped to the Powerhouse basketball gym, Gaisano Capital La Paz as the 2019 JB Amateur Basketball League Elite Division officially started its first season last October 6, 2019.
The eight participating teams were formally introduced, The Uniwheels Cars Display, Malditos/Liege Motor parts, ODM Sportswear, Hiyang Filinvest, JKG/CTG Commercial, Asialink/E&C Trucking, Queen’s Pension House, and the OJNA/IYB Mobile Bar Crocodiles.
Councilor Rudolph Ganzon led the ceremonial tossing at center court to officially open the league.
In the first game, the young bloods from the Asialink/E&C Trucking team dismantled ODM Sportswear, 94-61, with Jemar Cefriano winning the best player of the game honors, tallying 21 big points, 3 boards, and 2 dimes.
Next, the powerhouse team of Uniwheels Cars Display gave JKG/CTG Commercial a beating, 68-46, behind the valiant effort from the Doliguez brothers and King Belostrino, the best player of the game, who chipped in 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The last game of the league featured an action-packed thriller, as the Malditos/Liege Motor parts team edged Hiyang Filinvest in overtime, 71-66, with John Davis Paquingan grabbing best player honors, chalking up 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 dimes.
League commissioner Jayphet Balbacal was ecstatic with the outcome of the first day.
“I am very thankful to all the teams, team owners, and all business owners for joining and gracing the league although medyo risk man siya, that’s why I am very thankful. And also sapag salig sa committees and sa akon.” Balbacal told the Daily Guardian in an interview.