MANILA, Philippines — Zamboanga Valientes MLV gets a tougher test when it competes in the Champions League Basketball 3×3 in Bendigo, Australia, on Saturday, January 9.
The Valientes shocked the Aussies and an African selection when they ruled the 3×3 Christmas Hustle tournament in Canberra, last month, earning them membership to Australia and New Zealand's biggest 3×3 basketball league and an invitation to the Bendigo event.
Dubbed the Zvals, the Filipinos will be led by Peng Concepcion, a former St. Francis of Asissi standout from Tumaga, Zamboanga City.
Concepcion will be joined by former Zamboanga Valientes player Eric Miraflores in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, Sudanese-Australian Duom Dawan, and teen prospect Adam Compton, who traces his roots in Zamboanga.
The Valientes will be coached by Talon-talon-born Rolando Navarro, who has high hopes his wards will perform well against their counterparts from Taiwan, South Africa, Sudan, and, of course, Australia.
"I just told them to enjoy the game and not be afraid to take the shots. We are not only playing for ourselves but for our city as well," said Navarro, a former RP Youth player. "They just need to mentally and physically prepared."
The Valientes' stint in Australia is being fully supported by Michael Venezuela, the team's co-owner who believes in the resiliency of the team.
Venezuela believes the Valientes, with their gutsy but clean style of play, will be able to help restore the camaraderie between Filipino and Aussie cagers tarnished by the infamous brawl between some Gilas Pilipinas and Australia team members during the FIBA qualifying round back home on July 2, 2018.
Catch the action live at the Zamboanga Valientes page and Mayor Beng Climaco’s page starting at noon onwards.
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