D-League opener pits UAAP champ Ateneo versus Go for Gold
Players dreaming of making it to the Philippine Basketball Association will begin strutting their wares in the 2019 PBA D-League which unwraps Feb. 14 at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
UAAP champion Ateneo-Cignal gets a taste of D-League basketball as it battles champion Go For Gold-College of Saint Benilde at 2 p.m., followed by another equally interesting match between Marinerong Pilipino and San Sebastian College-Valencia City at 4 p.m.
“The road to the PBA starts here (D-League), so we expect to see some of the leading basketball talents in the country,” said PBA operations head Eric Castro during “Usapang Sports” presented by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) last week at National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila.
Due to the huge number of competing teams, Castro, who represented PBA commissioner Willie Marcial in the weekly sports forum, participants were bracketed in the Aspirants and Foundation groups.
“We resorted to clustering bearing in mind the need to balance each group,” said Castro, stressing that only players—except members of the national team—who saw action in the D-League can apply for the PBA Draft.
“This year’s PBA D-League teams, which include four commercial teams and champion teams from the UAAP, NCAA, NAASCU and UCBL, have assembled competitive lineups capable of winning the title,” added De Castro during the weekly sports forum supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Among the coaches who graced the forum were Yong Garcia of Marinero, Lou Gatumbato of Petron, Jimmy Manansala of St. Clare and Christopher Co of UST-Ironcon.
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