MANILA, Philippines -- While collegiate basketball tournaments remain on hold, the country's amateur players are finding a different avenue to channel their competitive spirits.
Players like NCAA Finals MVP Fran Yu of Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Kyle Carlos of Emilio Aguinaldo College have been participating in events organized by the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE), which gives them a chance to connect and compete with fellow athletes, even virtually.
Yu and Carlos are among the 10 players competing in the ongoing CCE Mobile Legends: Bang Bang 1-on-1 Exhibition Matches which streams on CALM Network.
"Nakaka-excite kasi may nakikilala kang bagong mga kaibigan. Naglalaban kami 1 versus 1 pero nakakapag-bonding din kami. We're getting together," said Yu, who reveals that the basketball players have formed their own group chat where they are in constant communication.
Yu bowed out of contention while Carlos has emerged as the favorite in the tournament. The EAC standout is headed to the semifinals against Michael Are of San Sebastian College-Recoletos.
University of Perpetual Help System DALTA's Jasper Cuevas and De La Salle-College of St. Benilde's Carlo Lim will collide in the other semis-bracket this weekend.
"Nakaka-excite na, ngayon pa lang [na 1-on-1 ang laban], at mas lalong exciting kapag 5-on-5 na," said Carlos, an avid gamer who sometimes streams his games on his Facebook page, "Puppet."
The players are already looking forward to the 5-on-5 Varsity Cup that will be launched in October, where they can reconnect with their teammates and shoot for the inaugural CCE crown.