MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. (AFI) on Monday announced its partnership with the Nueva Ecija Besprens, to fund the youth development programs of its late chairman, Gina Lopez.
The basketball team turned over an initial amount of P1 million for the youth development programs of the foundation, and revealed that 100% of the proceeds from the ticket sales of their games in the National Basketball League (NBL) will also go to the AFI.
These development programs of AFI will benefit the youth nationwide.
"Nagpapasalamat kami na binigyan kami ng chance na makapag-collaborate sa inyo," said Renan Morales, the team owner of Nueva Ecija Besprens, in a press conference.
According to Morales, they formed the "Besprens" team to promote sports and divert the youth from vices.
"Ang NBL, nakita namin na ang binibigyan ng chance ay mga homegrown (players) talaga," he said. "Ang mga players natin, na gusto talagang mag-basketball."
"Ang daming mga Pilipino, lalo na sa Nueva Ecija na gusto talagang mag-basketball. They are aspiring athletes, so nakikita ko 'yung passion nila, 'yung puso nila, how they want to pursue their dreams," he also said.
Paul Vincent Mercado, the chief marketing officer of ABS-CBN Foundation, expressed his happiness at the partnership.
"ABS-CBN Foundation is happy to find a partner who shares the same values with us, especially in making sure that the youth is given the right support and opportunities for growth and development," Mercado said in a statement.
"We in AFI also believe that the youth plays an integral role in making sure that the programs and projects we started will be sustained and passed on to the next generation," he added.
Meanwhile, Susan Rachel Afan, the managing director of AFI, also suggested that the players of the Nueva Ecija team can mentor the children in their communities.
"We would love for the players to go to the Children's Village, to teach (about basketball)," she said. "Sana 'yung players will come and visit us. We have a community in Tarlac, and we wlove to see the players get involved in these communities."
The Nueva Ecija team is composed of homegrown players, coached by PBA legend Jerry Codinera.
They will hold a tryout for all aspiring players on November 16 at the San Juan Arena in San Juan City.
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