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United Regional Basketball League: Inaugural Season 2004

AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
Now comes the United Regional Basketball League (URBL), the latest attempt at having a nationwide community-based basketball league along the lines of the old Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA). No less than former MBA Commissioner Ramon S. Fernandez will reprise his role in the new league.

A lot of former MBA personalities are behind this new league that is targetting its first games most likely after the May 10 national elections.

Some of the URBL teams are:

1. M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu of businessman Michel Lhuillier and Coach Raul "Yayoy" Alcoseba;

2. Compak Shineway-Ozamiz of Mayor Reynaldo O. Parojinog Sr. and Coach Francis C. Rodriguez;

3. General Santos City of businessman Ruben Solon and Coach Victor O. Ycasiano;

4. Forward Taguig of Mayor Sigfrido "Freddie" R. Ti?ga and Coach Danny Gavieres

5. Konica-Nueva Ecija of Edward Thomas Joson and Coach Monel Kallos;

6. Ilocos Sur Snipers of Gov. Deogracias "DV" Savellano and Coach Mario Quitoriano;

7. Trust Classic-Mandaue of Mayor Thadeo Ouano.

Stay tuned for more details as the excitement is only beginning.
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Comments

  • rhk111rhk111 Son of Boltok The Rapist PExer
    Captain's Log, Stardate 4204.0

    Um, ah, er, it just seems that there has been a number of these community-based basketball leagues that have come up lately. You have the NBL, the NBC, & now this? Seems like a lot.

    Don't get me wrong, I have been a fan of community-based basketball leagues since the MBA days. However, too many of such leagues will result in a sort of oversupply in the market, like your typical "lechon-manok" syndrome.


    Having said that, the way I see it, the community-based league who will be able to get the most number of former MBA teams will have an edge over the other leagues. Why? Because a number of those former MBA teams already has a lot of T-R-A-D-I-T-I-O-N. Good memories, that most people can still identify with.

    *****************

    By the way, I just couldn't help but notice the Mandaue team. "Trust Classic-Mandaue"? Wow. I wonder what the team name will be? The "Sperm Blockers"? How about, the "Pregnancy Preventers"? Perhaps, the "Semen Inhibitors"? What about, the "Penile Jackets"?

    Gad, I bet it'll be on every local stand up comedy routine.



    FPJ FOR PRESIDENT ..... OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    Originally posted by rhk111
    Um, ah, er, it just seems that there has been a number of these community-based basketball leagues that have come up lately. You have the NBL, the NBC, & now this? Seems like a lot.
    The more the merrier, they say. More leagues, more jobs.
    Don't get me wrong, I have been a fan of community-based basketball leagues since the MBA days.
    Oo nga, tayong dalawa lang yata yung nagsasagutan sa mga MBA threads.
    However, too many of such leagues will result in a sort of oversupply in the market, like your typical "lechon-manok" syndrome.
    Ano kaya, sumali dito yung Andok's ni Sandy Javier?
    Having said that, the way I see it, the community-based league who will be able to get the most number of former MBA teams will have an edge over the other leagues. Why? Because a number of those former MBA teams already has a lot of T-R-A-D-I-T-I-O-N. Good memories, that most people can still identify with.
    Ok isa-isahin natin ang MBA connections nila. Michel Lhuillier was really the first choice to handle Cebu but backed out. His team is loaded with ex-MBA pros;

    Coach Francis Rodriguez handled MBA teams in Davao, Socsargen and Cebu;

    Ben Solon is the very friendly owner of the Socsargen Marlins while Coach Vic Ycasiano used to work at the MBA front office and then coached Cagayan de Oro;

    Taguig Mayor Freddie Ti?ga helped out the Socsargen team making Taguig their alternate homecourt while Coach Danny Gavieres piloted the Iloilo Megavoltz;

    Ilocos Sur has team manager Moe Chulani once of Pasig-Rizal and assistant coach Jeff Flowers and is stocking up on ex-MBA players;

    Edward Joson owned the Nueva Ecija Patriots while Coach Monel Kallos was once an assistant at Iloilo;

    Finally, Mandaue was an alternate homecourt of the Cebu Gems. I will verify if it is true they are getting M. Lhuillier assistant Eddie Yba?ez to be their coach.
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    LHUILLIER Michel -- Team Owner
    ALCOSEBA Raul D. -- Head Coach
    YBA?EZ Catalino -- Assistant Coach
    GENERALAO Wilfredo A. -- Assistant Coach
    MERCED Lawrence -- Assistant Coach
    ENRIQUEZ Alfredo -- Assistant Coach
    ALCOSEBA Ramon -- Assistant Coach

    ARCE?O Tom Nathan D. (Central Phil. U)
    AYING Danilo (Southwestern)
    BAT-OG Leo Genaro M. (UNO-R)
    CA?ONEO Pableo B. Jr. (USJ-R)
    CANTONA Rey (UV)
    CAPUTOLAN Alano (Southwestern)
    DACIA Bruce Jeffrey S. (UV)
    ENRIQUEZ Woodraw (Cebu Doctors College)
    GABICA Arnold Jr. (PCCr)
    LAYGO Roman James (Southwestern)
    LUMANTAS Jessie M. (Southwestern)
    MARATA Romulo (Southwestern)
    NAILON Franklyn (Las Pi?as College)
    OCA?ADA Aldrin P. (UV)
    SMITH Darryl L. (Southern Cal)
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    SOME YEARS back, comic book publishers decided to kill Superman only to see him return in several reincarnations. Just like Superman, the community-based Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) made its mark on the Filipino basketball landscape faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive only to close down in 2002 due to mounting financial problems. And still following comparisons, the MBA or regional basketball has reincarnated itself in several forms in the last year or so.

    Immediately after the MBA closed, its last commissioner Chito C. Loyzaga gathered the league’s remnants to organize the Philippine National League (PNL). Unfortunately, the PNL remained only as a set of plans that never found fruition.

    Then came more leagues.

    First off the blocks was the revitalized National Basketball League (NBL) of Coach Tito T. Palma. For the whole of 2003, Palma’s group took over from the old NBL management under the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP). The NBL had spent the last year or two in limbo and the group successfully staged one national championship, two regional championships and even a foreign-flavored mini-tournament. In the middle of the year, the NBL took in Loyzaga’s PNL group in a merger that strengthened the league.

    Unfortunately, conflicts forced Palma to return the name and rights to the NBL to its original owners, the BAP early this year.

    Despite the setback, Palma mustered his troops and took over control of the National Basketball Conference (NBC), another dormant league organized some years back by Ted B. Magno.

    Already, the NBC had a head start after it staged the 2004 Panasonic Sinulog Cup in Cebu City won by host team M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu.

    Not to be outdone, the NBL appointed Bai Cristobal as its new commissioner and staged the 2004 Invitational Cup from February 23 to 29. Newcomer Mediatrix Telecom emerged champion. It is notable that the tournament attracted Forward Taguig and Mail & More-MayniLA, two perennial contenders from the NBC.

    Despite some of its one-time members playing elsewhere, the NBC is set to stage its second offering for the year, the 2004 Panasonic Seven Lakes Invitational in San Pablo City from March 25 to 28.

    However, both the NBC and NBL should not rest on their laurels. Another community-based league is targeting its opening salvo this summer.

    In the most serious undertaking to revive the MBA, many of its former leaders have regrouped to form the United Regional Basketball League (URBL).

    Among its more visible proponents is Coach Francis Rodriguez, head coach of two-time NBC Regional champion Shineway-Ozamiz.

    And joining Shineway at the URBL will be two of the more financially-stable teams from the NBC -- M. Lhuillier and the Ilocos Sur Snipers. Also targeted are the former MBA cities like Dagupan, Cabanatuan, Davao and General Santos.

    The URBL is courting former MBA commissioner Ramon Fernandez to head the group. Fernandez is credited with the unprecedented rise of the MBA in its first two seasons in 1998 and 1999.

    With some of its teams shifting allegiance, NBC officials are not worried, as they will soon unveil their expansion teams to assemble an eight-team cast. Among the strong contenders are the cities of Baguio, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Marikina.

    Still, the biggest winner remains to be the Filipino basketball community. Many leagues mean just as many employment opportunities for players, coaches and support staff and the fans will have more than their fair share of intense basketball action to watch day in and day out.


    =====
    Reprinted from Weekly Sports Digest (Volume IX Number 12 March 19 to 25, 2004), available every seven days where magazines are sold and published by the Manila Bulletin.
  • bchoterbchoter Member PExer
    Originally posted by AnthonyServinio
    SMITH Darryl L. (Southern Cal)
    oh that was daryl smith... i thought it was the floor creaking... it was his joints pala :D
  • itongitong Member PExer
    OOOH! That was mean bchoter. Nice one though.
  • daBayrusdaBayrus im just a rurouni. ✭✭
    whatcha think guys?

    sana hindi nila gawin yong mga naging mali ng MBA... i really like the regional format ...


    :wolv:
  • joeyxezjoeyxez Mr. J PExer
    never heard of it pa..
  • faufau Member PExer
    yes its nice sana maraming sumuporta sa community games na 2. lets support this league
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    Oyson: Here comes the URBL!
    By Manuel N. Oyson Jr.
    Counter punch


    THE Metropolitan Basketball Association is now history. After only four years, it died a natural death. More for lack of excitement than for anything else. The players’ demands for greater pay also did their owners in. Some were demanding atrocious salaries for their talents as if they were in the PBA.

    Some teams may still owe them back salaries. There is another league in the offing. It proclaims itself as the United Regional Basketball League (URBL). Someone enthused that it is an avenue for growth of grassroots basketball in the region. The names of Ramon Fernandez and Francis Rodriguez are being circulated as important personalities in the URBL.

    REGENERATE. And of course, there is also Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba. Who does not know him? Fernandez, a four-time MVP in the PBA, was also a former commissioner of the MBA. Rodriguez was also a coach one-time of the Cebu Gems of the defunct MBA, succeeding Tonichi Yturri. To hear it from Fernandez, the URBL is not the MBA. He believes that it will not only develop young players from the countryside.

    It will also provide an avenue for players on the comeback trail. In other words, PBA, PBL and CBL discards and has-beens can still be reinvigorated into the setup. Fernandez believes that the regional concept will also regenerate basketball interest throughout the country. Rodriguez is also one of the prime movers of the group. He may even be named deputy to Fernandez.

    PROMDI. In a sense, the URBL will be provincial-based. Province-bred in a sense. Of course, if Alcoseba is around, can the ML Jewelers be far behind? They have been making doormats of other Cebu teams since the late 1980s with monotony. Besides them, the other participants may be FedEx Laguna and Ilocus Sur. Forward Taguig, Compak-Shineway of Ozamis City and Spring Cooking Oil may be enticed to also join. The concept will be on a home-and-away format, as was in the MBA.

    And what is the concept of the URBL? It will be a stock corporation with each franchise member given a seat on the boards of governors. They will thus have a direct participation in the affairs of the league. Of course, all these are still on the blueprint stage. In fact, no playing schedules and venues have been released. All members will have equal sharing opportunities in league revenues.

    AFTER MAY 10. A franchise fee is also imposed on all members. To assure that nobody will leave in the middle of a season, each team will be made to file a bond. If one decides to discontinue for one reason or another, the bond may be forfeited. But basketball fans may have to wait until after May 10 elections for the URBL to take off. That is when the games begin.

    Of course, the URBL is not to be confused with the Philippine Basketball League Unity Cup, which is now winding down its second year at the Pasig Sports Center. Such familiar names as Hapee Toothpaste, Viva-FEU, Lee Pipes-Ateneo, Toyota Otis-Letran, Welcoat Paints, Sunkist, Montaña Pawnshop and Detergent BlueStar are there. I would not be surprised if any of these squads may also hitch up with the URBL. They have also farm teams in Cebu and Davao.

    (email: [email protected])

    =====
    Reprinted from Sun.Star Cebu (April 17, 2004). The author is a lawyer and the dean of the Cebuano sports media.
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    One on one with Ramon
    By Glenn C. Michelena
    Sun.Star Correspondent


    RAMON Fernandez is arguably the preeminent basketball player of our time. Since barging into the local scene as a gangly 17-year-old center for the University of San Carlos in 1971, Fernandez’ career took off to dizzying heights before he retired from pro basketball in 1994. After a lengthy, sensational PBA career, Fernandez ran for public office, took on a commissioner’s job with a rival league, and dabled with business. He talks about them all.

    When you hit the pro basketball circuit, it was only a matter of time before you dominated. Did you know that basketball greatness awaited you?


    I always thought I could play, but I never knew I would be a great one. Since I chose basketball to be my career, I pushed myself to work hard and master my craft. I always tried to be better. Little by little, the accolades started coming my way, and I knew that if continued to strive to be better and always play to the best of my abilities, I am capable of achieving greatness. When I retired, I already had a number of accomplishments under my name.

    You were a veteran of international competitions, what were your memories of it?

    I loved playing for the National Team. In fact, I consider being a member of the Philippine Team that won the 1972 ABC Junior Championships as one of the best moments in my life. I was only 18 that time. I made it to the Men’s Team the following year, and I played in the 1974 Asian Games and World Championships in Puerto Rico. The foreigners loved watching us play because we were small compared to their teams, but we were really tough to beat. One time when we played against Spain – on their soil – one of the Spanish cagers had to be brought out on a stretcher. We were small, but boy did we give them hell.

    It has been a popular notion that basketball was tougher, dirtier in those days. Do you agree with the perception?

    Over the years, the Filipino brand of basketball has changed its face in most regards. Now it has become more physical, but not in any way dirty. The PBA brand of play was really dirty in my time, that was why you seldom see players drive to the hoop and dunk during, because we were playing with an unwritten credo of not giving a quarter to anyone, at anytime.

    The MBA had a promising start but fizzled in the end. What went wrong?

    After its first season, I recommended that the league impose a salary cap and a drafting system, because we were always dealing with free agents at the time and the expenses were going through the roof. It wasn’t going the way we envisioned it to be, and something had to be done. Unfortunately, the league and the team owners couldn’t be in the same page, so the league suffered. Plus, the country’s economic downswing in 2001 played a part in it. The financial structure of the league and its teams got weaker and weaker until it was unable to continue anymore.

    Right now, you are on a nationwide campaign for the Smile party list. Care to tell us about the cause?

    It is an alliance of small-scale business owners with an aim of boosting the economy by teaching our local, small-scale entrepreneurs the right business mindset, the right techniques in running and promoting their businesses. Come to think of it, small and medium businesses comprise 96 percent of the businesses, and that’s an overwhelmingly great number.

    Even in the early 80s you already owned a number of businesses and was already well-respected for your business acumen. How did enterprising become such a natural thing for you?

    I got it from my parents. They were both traders. My father had a rice plantation and operated a rice mill in Maasin, Leyte, while my mother was into selling. She would buy dried fish in Bantayan, and sell it to towns in Leyte. So you see, even at a very young age I was already exposed to enterprising. When I had the capital to do business, I already knew a thing or two in the game.

    What is your vision for Smile?

    One of the things I’m looking closely into and eager to try is the what we call the Pangasinan model. In the Pangasinan model, they have one barangay that makes bags, while another barangay concentrates in marketing the bags. It’s like building a nationwide cottage industry.

    Are you still in any way involved in basketball?

    Yes, I still tour with the SMB All-Stars to conduct clinics and stage exhibitions around the country, and I recently received the offer to be the commissioner of the United Regional Basketball League (URBL).

    How are things going in the URBL?

    It’s still in its formative stage and is very similar to the MBA in most regards, except that it is an amateur league. We will employ the home and away format. We intend to start small, four teams from the north and four from the south. Cebu, through M Lhuillier, is already in and Mandaue is also very eager to join.

    Have you ever considered going back to coaching?

    No. The last time I coached, (as player-coach for Purefoods in 1988) I had to regularly see a psychiatrist. (Laughs)

    =====
    Reprinted from Sun.Star Cebu (May 5, 2004).
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    URBL to start tourney next month


    A NEW league will hit the nation next month when the United Regional Basketball League (URBL) blasts off with its inaugural season.

    The URBL has finally set its opening on June 12 at the Cebu Coliseum.

    URBL will be aired live over ABS-CBN’s Studio 23 and replayed over SkyCable and Home Cable the following day.

    Cebu has a team in the tournament: the multi-titled M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala Jewelers of businessman Michel Lhuillier and Coach Raul "Yayoy" Alcoseba.

    The league has adopted a regional competition format.

    URBL has six teams made up of Cebu City, Ilocos Sur, Taguig, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro City and Manila.

    “Even if we only have six teams, we will go on with our tournament,” URBL organizer Francis C. Rodriguez. “Cebu City will be the venue of our opening and we will bring the tournament close to the hearts of the Cebuanos."

    “As of now we are finalizing the application of Bacolod City, Batangas and Bohol. But we’ll limit the participation to eight teams.”

    Currently, M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala is picked as the strongest team in the URBL. With reports from Rommel C. Manlosa, Sun.Star Cebu
  • ferrisbferrisb Member PExer
    how does this new league plan to sustain itself? butts in seats? ad revenue? tv revenue?

    they should really look at how arena football here in the US grew into what it is now. that league truly started as a community based league.
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    Oyson: Cebu’s newest team in regional caging
    By Manuel N. Oyson Jr.
    Counter punch


    WHATEVER happened to the proposed United Regional Basketball League?

    We talked about the URBL in our column a month ago (April 17). We cautioned then that the URBL may take off after the May 10 national elections. Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba, who originally revealed the existence of such a group before the Cebu sportswriting media, was then busy campaigning for a seat in the Cebu City Council.

    But don’t fret. The URBL is set to take off on June 12 at the Cebu Coliseum.

    Now that Yayoy has made it as an alderman, the new league may come off the wraps and will be aired live over ABS-CBN. SkyCable and Home Cable will replay the games the next day.

    To go back to the URBL, it is not the MBA, as we were told. Being province-based, it will not only develop young players from the countryside. The URBL hopes also to provide an avenue for come-backing players from the PBL, MBA, CBL and the PBA itself. The discards and the down-the-hills can still be reinvigorated if their bodies can still take it. As we said in our column of April 17, the six URBL teams are Manila, Ilocos Sur, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro, Forward Taguig and M. Lhuillier-Kwarta Padala.

    ([email protected])

    =====
    Reprinted from Sun.Star Cebu (May 22, 2004). The author is a lawyer and the dean of the Cebuano sports media.
  • DaSh06DaSh06 c",) PExer
    Originally posted by AnthonyServinio
    Oyson: Cebu’s newest team in regional caging
    By Manuel N. Oyson Jr.
    Counter punch


    WHATEVER happened to the proposed United Regional Basketball League?

    We talked about the URBL in our column a month ago (April 17). We cautioned then that the URBL may take off after the May 10 national elections. Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba, who originally revealed the existence of such a group before the Cebu sportswriting media, was then busy campaigning for a seat in the Cebu City Council.

    But don’t fret. The URBL is set to take off on June 12 at the Cebu Coliseum.

    Now that Yayoy has made it as an alderman, the new league may come off the wraps and will be aired live over ABS-CBN. SkyCable and Home Cable will replay the games the next day.

    To go back to the URBL, it is not the MBA, as we were told. Being province-based, it will not only develop young players from the countryside. The URBL hopes also to provide an avenue for come-backing players from the PBL, MBA, CBL and the PBA itself. The discards and the down-the-hills can still be reinvigorated if their bodies can still take it. As we said in our column of April 17, the six URBL teams are Manila, Ilocos Sur, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro, Forward Taguig and M. Lhuillier-Kwarta Padala.

    ([email protected])

    =====
    Reprinted from Sun.Star Cebu (May 22, 2004). The author is a lawyer and the dean of the Cebuano sports media.

    :)
  • bakuksbakuks Balikung Baluktot PExer
    Oh here's the fantasy league's thread...

    Come on URBL, how the heck are you opening on June 12 when there's nothing but air in your plans? ABS-CBN never made any announcement to suuport this otherwise their marketing geniuses would have already advanced their handywork.

    URBL, just merge with the more organized NBC.

    I have yet to see concrete evidence that the URBL exists...except when I see Ilocos Sur practice and do tune up games.

    Sayang...ang lakas pa naman sana nung team na yun...misguided lang.

    June 12? June 12 is marked on my calendar as Independence Day. URBL is independent...they are all alone...

    Dream on, URBL...
  • odoginsdodoginsd Member PExer
    hmmmm, is it the URBL or the RUBL? Looked at the article in the Manila Bulletin and they said it was the RUBL. Do you have the list of teams yet? Is there going to be a team from Pampanga? Hope 2 hear something soon. Good luck!!
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    By Manuel N. Oyson, Jr.
    Counter punch


    THE OTHER LEAGUE. Whatever happened to the much-talked United Regional Basketball League (URBL), which Councilor Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba touted before he became a city councilor? Is it still in the works? Though aimed at developing young players from the countryside, the URBL is also a venue for come-backing players from the PBL, MBA, CBL and the PBA itself whose bodies can still take it. Discards and down-the-hills, to put it mildly.

    =====
    Reprinted from Sun.Star Cebu (July 1, 2004). The author is a lawyer and the dean of the Cebuano sports media.
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    URBL set to resurrect good old days of MBA

    by Emmanuel B. Villaruel
    August 6, 2004

    THE United Regional Basketball League (URBL), the newly-formed hoop organization armed with flaming desire to bring back the spirit of community-based cagefest popularized by the now defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) in the country, will hold a pre-season games either mid September or in the first week of October in Lucena City.

    URBL commissioner Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez said that they are just waiting for the confirmation of other provinces interested to join the league before they could make their first step towards reaching their dream of resurrecting the good old days of the MBA.

    “We are targeting at least six teams, three each from the North and South. If we would be able to reach that number, then we would start our tournament as soon as possible,” said Fernandez, who is here in Cebu promoting his “Life’s A Ball Basketball Camp.”

    So far, at least five teams have expressed interest to be part of the URBL family including Ilocus Sur, Pampanga, Quezon, Rizal, and Cebu, which will be represented by M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala of businessman Michel Lhuillier and multi-titled coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba.

    Fernandez, on the other hand, dispelled rumors that Ilocus Sur is willing to join the other existing regionalized cage league in the country.

    Speculations were fanned when Governor Chavit Singson watched a game last week at the Cebu Coliseum.

    But Fernandez refuted the claim saying that Singson’s witnessing the game in Cebu was just accidental and not in any way signifies Ilocus Sur’s intent to become a member of the other league.

    “Gov. Chavit Singson and I met just two days ago and he told me that Ilocus Sur is not interested to be part of the other league. In fact, he even helped me in convincing other governors to join the URBL,” said Fernandez.

    Aside from Cebu, Fernandez is eyeing Bohol and Cagayan de Oro to complete the three-team field in the South. He did not discount the possibility though that there will be only one squad to represent the South and five from the North in the maiden URBL salvo.

    =====
    Reprinted from The Freeman (August 6, 2004).
  • AnthonyServinioAnthonyServinio Member In Focus ✭✭✭
    Lactovitale team completes URBL
    By Rommel C. Manlosa
    Sun.Star Staff Reporter


    JUST when everybody was about to give up on the United Regional Basketball League, businessman and newly-elected Cebu Vice Gov. Greg Sanchez helped speed up things.

    Sanchez will bankroll the second team for Cebu – Lactovitale-Cebu Province – with Bogo Coliseum as its homecourt.

    Done deal

    “The deal is already signed and Cebu Province with Vice Gov. Greg Sanchez as team owner is now an official member of the URBL,” URBL Commissioner Ramon Fernandez told Sun.Star-Cebu.
    “Lactovitale is our sixth team, so we are just finalizing the details now so that we can start our regular season, the soonest possible time.”

    Lawyer Jose Soberano will be Lactovitale’s team manager while former congressman and sportsman Junnie Martinez will be the team consultant.

    Fernandez is giving Lactovitale two weeks to form its line-up to catch-up with the pre-season tournament in Lucena City.

    “I believe that soon we can get the ideal: Three teams from the north and three teams from the south format,” said Fernandez. “The beach owners in Bohol are very interested in forming a team and by the time we can finalize the negotiations it’s going to be a very good set-up.”

    Jumpstart

    URBL now has M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu City, Lucena City, Ilocos Sur, Pampanga, Pasig-Rizal and the recent addition Lactovitale-Cebu Province will help jumpstart URBL’s first season.

    Fernandez wants to keep the URBL as small as possible in its first year to avoid the lapses that made the Metropolitan Basketball Association fold up in 2002.

    Lactovitale is currently scouting team members. The energetic and youthful Edsel Vallena is a prospective head coach.

    =====
    Reprinted from Sun.Star Cebu (August 8, 2004).
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