More than winning, Emil's ballclub enlivens Macrohon hoopla
(The Freeman) - September 22, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - They may have fell short in their title bid but winning is not everything for Emil's Fresh Chicken, a Cebu-based commercial ballclub, as far as their entry is concerned in the 2016 Macrohon Fiesta Open Basketball Tournament that ended last Tuesday night in Macrohon, Southern Leyte.

Emil's FC went all the way to the championship but dropped a 92-101 decision to Gabisan Shipping Lines in their sudden-death battle for the P100,000 bounty.

But more than the crowning glory, Cebuano businessman/sportsman Jerry Oberes said their participation in the four-day tilt organized the Macrohon LGU under the flagship of Mayor Alan Jose Kuizon Aroy is for a noble purpose.

"First we want to pay homage to St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Macrohon, at the same time beef up the entertainment in one of the most affected municipalities in Leyte during typhoon Yolanda as they keep the tradition of commemorating this annual event with a basketball tournament," said Oberes, whose annual Emil's Cup in Minglanilla keeps the fire of Cebu commercial basketball burning for nearly a decade now.

"The intention to pool in high caliber players from Manila was really to draw the crowd as we start to promote the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League this early," added Oberes referring to PCBL, a newly formed purely-commercial amateur basketball tournament that caters to the development and grassroots program of aspiring Filipino cagers.

True enough, Oberes even commissioned a star-studded crew powered by ex-PBA standouts Eliud Poligrates, Rudy Lingganay and Jaypee Belencion and 2012 Liga Pilipinas MVP Glenn Bolocon to jack up interest of fans and enliven Macrohon's yearly hardcourt extravaganza.

The Emil's squad somehow succeeded in that aspect as no less than PCBL chairman Buddy Encarnado was delighted by what he had seen in Macrohon that he vows to lay down the framework geared towards making PCBL a nationwide league with expansion arms in Cebu, Leyte and in other areas of Mindanao.

"It was a pleasant surprise for me that there is this kind of basketball activity in a far-flung area here in Leyte. This is something that we could not see in Manila. If I did not come here, I would not have known that basketball is alive and kicking in this part of the country. It drives me on to make PCBL a nationwide league," Encarnado said.

The former top executive of the PBA representing the Sta. Lucia Realty Development Corp. is expected to be in Cebu today to formalize talks with Oberes and league organizer Van Halen Parmis regarding PCBL's possible expansion in the Queen City of the South and other parts of the Vis-Min region.

Parmis, a self-effacing sportsman who had been organizing and actively participating in inter-commercial cage leagues all over Visayas and Mindanao, has already laid out his commitment to help steer PCBL to whatever direction it wants to take in the future. (EBV)(FREEMAN)

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