MANILA, Philippines - A new league for high school teams – the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championships – has been established to help prepare junior players aspiring to play in various collegiate leagues.
Dr. Cecilio Pedro of Hapee Toothpaste and Dioceldo Sy of Ever Bilena, who both served as chair of the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League, said the creation of the PSSBC will help sustain the growth of basketball in the country.
“By putting up this new league, we hope we can bring back the crown as being the best basketball country in Asia and also develop the right attitudes for our future sportsmen of the country,” said Pedro.
The former PBL owners, who also include Terry Que of Welcoat House Paints, have linked up with new stakeholders like Jimi Lim of Ironcon Builders, Jimmy dela Cruz of Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Leoncio Chua of MEC, Rudy Yu of Dickies Underwear and Edward Tio of Wrangler to form the “Champions League” for high school.
“This league will be an early preview of future superstar of Philippine basketball. This will further enhance their playing skills and polish them like diamonds,” said Sy, who owns Blackwater Sports in the PBA D-League.
“That’s exactly the reason why we came together, we want to have an avenue for top high school players to show their stuff,” said Lim. “Since this is much a bigger stage, they will have to play as hard as they can.”
Like Que, co-owner of PBA champion Rain or Shine, Yu, Chua, Dela Cruz and Tio have been in the basketball circle for a long time, being sponsors of various commercial leagues.
“In a way, this is for national interest, so we’re chipping in to help these kids reach their goal in playing for a top collegiate league,” said Que.
According to Tio and Lim, only the top teams from UAAP, NCAA and Tiong Lian will be invited to the tournament.
If the tournament succeeds, the organizers plan to invite champion teams from Visayas and Mindanao to join the tournament.