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PBA 3x3: External teams bared

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - April 1, 2021 - 12:00am

There are four “external” teams so far confirmed to join the PBA 3x3 season with one or two more in the pipeline as PBA 3x3 committee chairman/Alaska governor Dicky Bachmann said yesterday the Philippine squad that participated in the recent FIBA World Tour Doha Masters is also welcome but can only play under a non-competitive brand.

The four “external” teams are the Zamboanga Valientes, Big Boss Cement, Master Sardines and Geanaux Systems Corp. A fifth team withdrew when the lockdown was announced over the weekend but may still participate. Bachmann said a team from Mindanao has expressed interest and will confirm its intent next week. Of the league’s 12 franchises, only Alaska has excused itself from joining because of Bachmann’s affiliation. PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said it was a big sacrifice for Alaska to step back but a testimony to its integrity.

Bachmann said Geanaux is a company focused on the management of buildings, Big Boss is a 100 percent Filipino-owned and environment-friendly cement manufacturer and Master Sardines is under Universal Canning Inc., one of the largest and most dynamic seafood processing and canning facilities in the country. The Valientes are co-owned by Junnie Navarro and Mike Venezuela whose accounting firm MLV is based in Australia. It was Venezuela who arranged the Valientes’ participation in 3x3 tournaments in Australia where the Zamboanga team won four titles in a row, including three this year. Two of Zamboanga’s players Peng Concepcion and Eric Miraflores will suit up for the Valientes in the PBA 3x3 second or third conference.

Navarro said Zamboanga’s all-homegrown lineup for the first conference will be made up of 5-10 Jens Knuttel, 32, 5-9 Rudy Lingganay, 35, 6-1 Gino Jumao-as, 29, 6-5 Med Salim, 26, 5-11 Das Esa, 27, 6-5 Joewish Gracia, 27 and 6-6 Alexander Mohammad, 25. Coach will be Joseph Romarate.

“Playing in the PBA 3x3 is our dream,” said Navarro. “We had invitations in New Zealand and Japan but PBA 3x3 is our priority. We want to thank the PBA especially commissioner Willie Marcial for this opportunity. Zamboanga Valientes is all about helping our fellow Zamboanguenos achieve their dreams. We also want to let the people know that Zamboanga City is a beautiful and safe place. We want them to know that Zamboanga is the home of champions Eumir Marcial, Hidilyn Diaz, Mark Barroca and Mike Tolomia.”

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