Recognizing the vast number of untapped talents in the 18-under age category, particularly from the out-of-school youth sector, the Batang Pilipino Basketball League kicked off its pre-season tournament in new normal recently with an eye on expanding its base in the near future.
Eight teams are currently vying in the league’s three-weekend competition, which got under way over the weekend at the Palaruang Batang Lambak in Sta. Elena, Marikina City. Team Marikina has lorded it over the field with four wins with Mandaluyong in second at 3-1 (win-loss) and Batang Cainta at third with a 2-1 card.
QC North RPBC and QC South RPBC share fourth place with 2-2 marks while Pasig SA3 and Makati Pembo tote identical 1-3 slates and Priscerba Makati trails the field with three losses without a win to show.
The community-driven cage league is aimed at identifying and developing players with potential, not just from public and private schools and colleges but essentially from the out-of-school youth side, and at the same time providing motivation to the young, the disadvantaged and the potentially excluded to take part.
“This grassroots program has been in the works for quite some time but whose staging was stymied by the pandemic,” said league commissioner Ron Camara. “But we could only launch the age category (18-under) allowed under the relaxed Covid restrictions.”
The league is planning to unveil its regular season within the year that will include competitions in other age-group categories. For details, visit the league’s FB page @teamBPBL, IG and website www.batangpilipinobasketball.ph.
Meanwhile, action resumes this weekend with the finals set on March 26 with league organizers not only hoping to help produce the players of tomorrow but also giving something back to the community by allowing the youth to enjoy sports participation for their own sake.