Star-studded Hapee sets sights on big PBA leap | Inquirer Sports

Star-studded Hapee sets sights on big PBA leap

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 01:47 AM February 21, 2015

HAPEE starts its quest for back-to-back PBA D-League championships next month with its team owner setting his sights on another goal—making a big leap to the pro league.

“Our intention, after playing in the D-League, is to go up to the PBA,” said team owner Dr. Cecilio Pedro, the president of Lamoiyan Corp.

With its star-studded crew delivering when it mattered, Hapee survived a gritty Cagayan Valley squad in overtime, 93-91, last Thursday to sweep the title series of the Aspirants Cup.


The championship came five years after Hapee pulled off an outstanding run in the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) where the franchise won four crowns. And Pedro thinks it might just be the right time to elevate his franchise to the PBA.


Pedro wants to bring Hapee’s core players to the pro ranks, which include league MVP Ray Parks, Garvo Lanete, Troy Rosario, Chris Newsome, Baser Amer and Game 2 hero Earl Scottie Thompson.

Although PBA expansion teams NLEX, Kia and Blackwater didn’t get the same concession, Pedro remains hopeful.

“If the PBA allows us to bring our core players, we’ll be there by tomorrow,” Pedro said in jest. “We need good players to be competitive in the PBA. If we have no players, we’ll just stay here in the D-League.”

The Fresh Fighters hope to keep their roster intact next conference, although Parks remains unsure if he’ll stay or try his luck again in the NBA Summer League in the United States.

“I haven’t made a decision,” said Parks, who dislocated his shoulder in the opening minutes of Game 2 and was out of the contest for good.

He said he’s proud of the Fresh Fighters.


“They really came through,” said Parks, who was all praises for Thompson, the NCAA MVP who made two steals, knocked in the go-ahead basket and blocked a potential game-winner in the last 22 seconds of overtime.

But whether or not Hapee stays in the amateurs or heads to the pro league, the Fresh Fighters intend to keep on winning.

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“You never get tired of winning, especially if your players bring you to the top,” said Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc.

TAGS: Game 2, Hapee, PBA, players

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