MANILA, Philippines — Zamboanga Valientes MLV hopes to duplicate its success in Australia with an all-homegrown team in NBL-Pilipinas.
The Valientes clinched four straight titles in the Champions League Basketball (CLB) 3×3 and they want to bag a local jewel in 5×5 as well.
To achieve their goal, the Valientes recruited Zamboanga stars Rudy Lingganay and Gino Jumao-as to spearhead the squad which they believe would be competitive in the fledgling pro league.
Lingganay and Jumao-as are both former University of the East Warriors and Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League players.
According to Lingganay, who also had a stint in the PBA, it will be an honor to represent his hometown in the NBL.
Jumao-as, on the other hand, spurned offers from other teams to play for Zamboanga Valientes MLV, co-owned by businesswoman/philantrophist Cory Navarro and Mike Venezuela.
Fulfilling a longtime dream of the Navarro family, the Valientes will be parading an all-Zamboangueno roster bolstered by RR De Leon, RJ Argamino, Das Easa, Jon Rebollos, Med Salim and Jolo Belorio, all MPBL veterans.
Completing the team are local leagues standouts Jef Bernardo, David Sebastian, Alex Mohamad and Mark Tano.
Tapped by Junie Navarro as head coach is Joseph Romarate, also a Zamboangueno.
To celebrate Zamboanga Valientes MLV's victories (3×3 Christmas Hustle in Canberra, CLB 3×3 In Bendigo, CLB 3×3 Portland Opens, and the Champions League in Hamilton), the team management, coaches and players, including other pool members, went to the exclusive Balesin Island, where the Valientes were formally presented by Navarro on Saturday night.
Zamboanga Valentes MLV is being backed by MLV Accounting, Gaisano Mall, Smart, Bahnhof Language Training Center, Kings Manpower, and Kamiseta Mindanao.
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