Freeman Cebu Sports

After highly successful pre-season games: OCCCI D-League all set for inaugural cage wars

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — On the heels of its highly successful pre-season games, the OCCCI D-League shifts to higher gear as it now girds for the highly anticipated maiden season of the biggest and grandest inter-school basketball tournament in the history of Eastern Visayas set to take off with its first leg that will run for four days from February 9 to 12 in Jaro, Leyte.

The league’s pre-season joust came to a rousing end over the weekend highlighted by the exhibition games between the OCCCI All-Stars and the six-time Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) champions Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles at the full-packed Ormoc Superdome in Ormoc City.  

The Western Leyte College (WLC) Mustangs, meanwhile, swept the titles in the high school and college divisions, while the San Juan Elementary School (SJES) was crowned champion in the elementary level, making them the teams to watch in the first ever developmental cage league in Region 8.

“In behalf sa management committee sa OCCCI D-League, nagpasalamat ko una sa atong Ginoo nga gihatag ni niya nga higayon ug grasya nga mahimong malampuson ang amo pre-season,” said John Carlo Sano, OCCCI D-League’s head of basketball operations.

“Mapasalamaton pud ko sa tanan nga mga nitabang namo. Sa mga schools, school heads, principals, athletic directors, coaches, players nga niapil sa pre-season ug sa mga parents ug basketball fanatics nga nisuporta dili lang sa ilang teams apan hasta sab sa tibuok liga. Dili kini mahimong successful kon dili tungod sa ilang suporta,” Sano continued.

Sano said the pre-season was a learning experience for them and that they will wisely use it to make their league better and more exciting as they endeavor to showcase and nurture the dreams of the young aspiring ballers in their place.

“Coming to our regular season, nakita namo from the pre-season unsa pay kuwang or i-improve namo para mas nindot pa ang mga games. Naa nami plans nga makapa-excite sa mga spectators nato and kami sa mga kaubanan nako magpadayon sa pagtinabangay ug ubanan sa hugot nga pag-ampo para sa kalamposan na usab sa amo pagahimoon nga regular season,” said Sano.

OCCCI’s Chief Finance Officer Arvin Villena is as ecstatic that they were able to carry out their pre-season games in accordance to their main purpose - test their capacity to stage an event of such magnitude.

“First, I want to thank God for making all these things possible and successful,” said Villena. “Good thing we did the pre-season for the school to assess first their capacity and to warm it up in preparation for the inaugural. But more than that, this also gave us our personal assessment how ready we are for the regular season.”

 “It was not perfectly done but I guess it was good enough for a first timer. And seeing how the pre-season goes, everybody for sure will make some adjustments. We have seen a lot of things in all areas good and for those that needs improvement. We learned together with the teams.”

 “I am a bit emotional because it was more than what I expected. Thank you to all the people who, in one way or another, are instrumental to the success of our pre-season. Truly we have nurtured the dreams of these young athletes and I think we are now ready to kick off the inaugural season of our OCCCI D-League,” Villena ended.


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