Zamboanga Valientes set to join PBA 3×3
MANILA, Philippines—After making waves in Australia, earning three straight Champions League Basketball 3×3 titles and invitations to play in New Zealand and Japan, Zamboanga City is set for a homecoming.
After playing in the Oceania region and Japan, the Valientes are set to play in the inaugural PBA 3×3 season after getting an invitation from the league’s office.
Junnie Navarro, who was once a member of the Philippine Youth Team, said the Valientes’ future stint in the PBA is not only a fulfillment of his childhood dream but also a testament to how Zamboanga has developed into a sporting community.
“Before I just dreamt of playing in the PBA, now I’ll be a team owner of a PBA team,” said Navarro. “I’m sure my dad in heaven (Rolando Navarro Sr.) is very happy and proud of where the team is heading to. The Navarro family have been supporting sports in Zamboanga for two decades already and my dad started it all.”
Zamboanga has already been represented in the PBA with Mark Barroca, Mike Tolomia, and RR Garcia suiting up in the league.
This time though, it’ll be Rudy Lingganay, Jens Knuttel, Med Salim, Das Esa, and Gino Jumao-as who will banner the city.
“This latest achievement of the team will bring so much pride and honor to the city of Zamboanga not only because the Valientes will be part of the PBA franchise but also because the long-time advocacy of the Navarro family of helping homegrown athletes to get to the PBA continues. Once again, the Valientes will be composed of Zamboanguenos,” said Navarro.
Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco also supports the Valientes in some capacity.
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