CITY OF MALOLOS- Governor Daniel Fernando formally launched the new Bulacan Damayan Republicans basketball team as representative of the province, rejoining the National Basketball League (NBL) Season 4 as they open the floor for hopeful Bulakenyo basketball aficionados for try outs held at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium here.
Gov. Fernando and his co-team owner Romy Cardenas led the launching and opening day of a series of tryouts for over 80 applicants together with officials and representatives of the NBL and Games and Amusement Board (GAB).
The governor said that while his plan for the Bulacan Sports Academy is hampered due to the pandemic, his aim to strengthen the Bulakenyo athletes is still on.
“Gusto kong magkaroon ng advance learning and technology ang mga manlalarong Bulakenyo, pero sa ngayon, nang imbitahan tayo ng NBL, kinuha natin ‘yung opportunity na palakasin ‘yung ating mga homegrown basketball players at i-develop ‘yung kanilang discipline, sportsmanship and humility,” Fernando shared.
Fernando added that this sports competition is not just to win but to gain friendship as he also reminded the applicants not to be arrogant but to exercise humility. He also clarified that it is a private ownership and not part of the provincial government.
Cardenas said that while he believes and supports the governor, he also wants to show that Bulakenyos can compete in a professional and national league.
GAB Chairman Baham Mitra said that everyone can expect that they are following health and sports protocols and also in return expects the teams to respect the officials and denounce any form of game fixing.
NBL Executive Vice President Rhose Montreal said that they really pursued Fernando because of his love for sports when the Bola Kontra Droga project was launched years before by the Damayang Filipino Foundation.
Moreover, NBL Vice President for Operations Commissioner John Edward Aquino told the hopeful ballers to continue their dreams.
“The only requirement is the PSA to prove that you really are a homegrown in that area. Apart from that sa age, since professional league na 21-35 na, and everyone will get a license from GAB, not just that coach and players but everyone in the team, and that is a matter of privilege, ibig sabihin ‘pag may ginawa kang mali at after maimbestigahan, pwedeng bawiin,” Aquino explained.
Considered the first professional homegrown league in the world, the NBL was established in 2018 and is a developmental league that aims to hone homegrown talents of towns, cities or provinces which will start by April.
Montreal added that the GAB gave the green light for them as the new professional basketball league in the country joining the other leagues like Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Manny Pacquiao Basketball League (MPBL) and Chooks-to-Go 3×3 who give young and new players the opportunity to showcase their talents but not to compete with its fellow pro leagues.
She added that the Bulacan team first joined the league in its first season but not in the following second and third season due to some administrative and technical issues.
The Bulacan Republicans head coach is Popo Macapagal while Atty. Juvic Degala will be part of the coaching staff.
Degala pointed out to those who will be selected to implement three things, “Godliness” to be thankful and grateful for having a chance to play in a professional basketball league; “Discipline”- always submit to authority and be present during practices, and “Faithfulness” – do not become part of any form of dirty game activities, especially game fixing.
MAIN PHOTO: BULACAN DAMAYAN REPUBLICANS BASKTEBALL TEAM. Governor Daniel Fernando is shown in photo during the National Basketball League Season 4 formal launching of the team and first day of try outs at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium in the City of Malolos, Bulacan. Also in photo are (L-R front row) Coach Popo Macapagal; Atty. Julius Victor Degala; NBL Executive Vice President Rhose Montreal; Jun Bautista, GAB Chief of Programs; co-team owner Romy Cardenas; NBL Vice President for Operations Commissioner John Edward Aquino and Provincial Public Affairs Officer Maricel Santos-Cruz.