The Zamboanga Valientes will be playing inspired when they clash with the Sultan Naga Dimaporo Barracudas in the GlobalPort VisMin Super Cup at the Zamboanga City Coliseum this weekend, starting on Saturday.
Powered by homegrown stars and reinforced by former NCAA MVP Prince Eze, the Valientes are tipped as the favorites over the Lanao del Norte team in the 4-game opening salvo of the imports-flavored pro league.
The Valientes, owned by philanthropist Cory Navarro and supported by JPS, MLV Group, Go for Gold and 1 PacMan Partylist, will be led by former PBA player Jonathan Parreno, former Letran Knight Jonathan Belorio, former Adamson Falcon Araouf Julkilpi, former University of the East Red Warrior Gino Jumao-as and Tausug hero Das Eza.
Pesky guards Jeff Bernardo and Denver Cadiz and veteran Reed Juntilla, another former PBA player, are also with the Valientes, which is being backed by Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco, Councilor Pinpin Pareja and Kap James Siason.
The Barracudas, on the other hand, have Jaymar Gimpayan, last year’s VisMin Cup MVP, former Barangay Ginebra guard Teytey Tedoro, and former MPBL players Adrian Celada, Ken Acibar and Ricky Maurillo in their roster.
Other inaugural matches pit Kalos PH (Eastern Samar) against MACFI Basilan at 1 p.m.; McDavid ZamPen versus OCCCI (Ormoc) at 3 p.m.; and Tubigon Miners against CPG Bohol at 5 p.m.
A big crowd is expected at the air-conditioned Zamboanga City coliseum which drew a record 12,000 spectators in an MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) game between the Zamboanga Valientes and the Manila Stars in 2018.