INTENT on finding new basketball talents from the South, the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup unfolds in April.
The country’s first professional league in the regions has chosen Dondon Hontiveros, Cebuano hoops legend and one of the country’s best shooters ever, as its ambassador.
A standout of the University of Cebu Webmasters and the Cebu Gems, Hontiveros went on to become a 13-time PBA All-Star, many times national team member, and is now councilor of Cebu City’s 2nd district.
“We will bring back the days where basketball in the southern side (VisMin) of the country was awesome. When people came in droves to watch the games and homegrown players were given a fair opportunity to play for their cities and provinces,” said Hontiveros.
League officials led by COO Rocky Chan and representatives of interested teams have held their first virtual conference and are targeting April 9 for the inaugural conference to be held in a bubble set-up.
League secretary-general Chelito ‘Marvin’ Caro said confirmed to take part are teams from Cebu City, Mandaue City (KCS), Talisay (MJAS) and Lapu-Lapu City in the Visayas side and teams from Zamboanga City, Pagadian City (Explorers), Sindangan, and Roxas-Zamboanga del Norte (Vanguards) in the Mindanao side.
“Many teams already sent a letter of intent but we will just limit (participants) in the first conference,” said Chan. “We want to provide a venue for our future stars in Visayas and Mindanao and promote sports tourism in the regions.”
Cebu City will host the Visayas leg while Zamboanga will stage the Mindanao leg. To lessen the teams’ expenses, elimination round games will be confined to their respective regions.
To ensure grassroots development, each team must have at least six homegrown players.
In the second conference, each team will have a foreign reinforcement.
Apart from Hontiveros, the South has produced 6-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, 4-time MVP Ramon Fernandez, 2-time MVP James Yap, and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes.