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Pangasinan joins the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League

pangasinan joins in the maharlika pilipinas basketball league

Pangasinan province is set to join the upcoming season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), with the objective of developing local basketball talents. 

The team, known as Pangasinan Heat, will be the league’s 29th franchise, symbolizing the province’s abundant solar resources, according to team owner Cezar Quiambao, speaking at a press conference held at the Urduja House in Lingayen town, Pangasinan, on Wednesday, February 7.

“I support all the projects of the governor that would help the youth. This could also be the tool to market the province of Pangasinan aside from the youth development,” Quiambao, the former mayor of the province’s Bayambang town, said. 

Majority of the players for the Pangasinan Heat team, managed by Alaminos City Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste, are locally sourced, primarily from Urdaneta and Alaminos cities, as well as Usual town. However, they also plan to recruit players from outside the province.

“Ten to 12 players are homegrown but we will import five to seven from outside of Pangasinan to be a formidable team,” he said.

The coaching staff of the team consists of former professional basketball players Jun Marzan Jr., Cris Calaguio, Lordy Tugade, and collegiate basketball coach Sonny de Jesus. Additionally, former professional basketball players Marlou Aquino and Danny Ildefonso serve as consultants for the team. As the team operates under a franchise model, its funding will be provided by the franchise owner.

“No government fund (will be used) but whatever support in our own capacity as Pangasinenses, we will give to the team,” Pangasinan Governor Ramon Guico III said during the same briefing. 

Guico mentioned that it took some time for the province to join the league as other provincial matters were prioritized. However, with stability achieved, there’s now a focus on overseeing and advocating for social responsibility in sports.

Notable Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players who originate from Pangasinan include Marlou Aquino, Danny Ildefonso, Lordy Tugade, and Mark Pingris.

“I am glad of the composition of team Pangasinan and their plans as it is aligned in the vision of the league which is to develop homegrown players and give more opportunities and exposure to shine in the professional basketball league,” MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said. 

The upcoming season is scheduled to commence on March 16, with the opening event taking place in Calasiao town, Pangasinan. This is anticipated to stimulate economic activity within the province.

Founded by Senator Manny Pacquiao in 2017, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) has crowned previous champions including San Juan, Davao, Nueva Ecija, and Pampanga.


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