The Zamboanga Valientes MLV are all set to show their brand of basketball in the inaugural PBA 3X3 League.
The Valientes received an invitation to the league from the PBA after they stamped their mark on Australia with three straight CLB (Champions League Basketball) 3x3 titles.
"'Yan ang dream nating lahat... to play in the PBA. Thank you talaga to (Commissioner Willie Marcial) for giving us the opportunity," said Valientes team owner Junnie Navarro in an online interview on 2OT.
Navarro added they are likely to field a full homegrown lineup against competing teams, which are expected to include Fil-foreign players in their rosters.
"Ine-emphasize namin ang local players namin. Baka mag-all local kami. We want to show na kaya ng mga taga Zamboanga lumaban kahit lahat kami homegrown," said Navarro.
The formula has worked wonders for the Mindanao-based squad, enabling them to dominate bigger teams in Australia and earned the Valientes invitations to play in New Zealand and Japan.
Likely to be included in the Valientes roster are full-blooded Zamboangueños Rudy Lingganay, Jens Knuttel, Med Salim, Das Esa, and Gino Jumao-as.
Navarro, a former PH youth team member, said that the Valientes' entry to the PBA more than fulfilled his dream of playing pro ball.
"Ito naman talaga ang dream natin, PBA na ito e," he said.
He added they also want to promote Zamboanga City.
"Akala kasi nila nakakatakot sa Zamboanga. Mali 'yun. Ang Zamboanga ay nakapagandang lugar, masarap ang pagkain, maraming mabait na tao at maraming magaling magbasketball," he said.
FROM THE ARCHIVES