Guingona, the grandson of former Philippine vice president Teofisto Guingona Jr., founded the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup that aspires to provide a platform for basketball talents from Visayas and Mindanao, as well as develop homegrown stars from the grassroots level.
Squads representing cities and municipalities like Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Mandaue, Roxas, Sindangan, and Pagadian have already signified their intent to join the inaugural season.
Each team needs to have at least six homegrown cagers on its roster.
Two conferences are being planned for its maiden run, one exclusively for locals and the other featuring foreign players. Games in the elimination round will be confined within their respective areas, waiving the need for long-distance travel.
The Visayas-Mindanao zone is known to be a fervent basketball hub, churning out athletes who made a name in the PBA such as Ramon Fernandez, Francis Arnaiz, Dondon Hontiveros, June Mar Fajardo, and James Yap among others.
“History shows that Visayas and Mindanao are home to the best of the best basketball players in the Philippines. These players left an indelible legacy on the court. We are here to honor their legacy by discovering more players from our region and helping these prospects reach greater heights like their predecessors,” said Guingona, who serves as the league’s executive vice president.
“It is my belief that we have barely scratched the surface in terms of talent. And that is our mission–to discover more players from the region.”
The aforementioned region once housed a commercial basketball league in 2006 when Cebu City councilor Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba and financial backer Michel J. Lhuillier established the Mindanao Visayas Basketball Association.
However, it was short-lived.
Two years after its inception, the organization decided to merge with the National Basketball Conference to form Liga Pilipinas, which folded and ceased operations in 2011.
Guingona believes that aside from being an avenue for players to hone their craft, the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup could satiate the hunger for a brand of basketball in a regional format.
“It has been years since we had our own league here. It’s high time for us to once again showcase what we have in terms of basketball. I believe we can still produce more top-caliber athletes that will leave a mark in Philippine basketball history,” he stressed.
“If we look deeply into the list of best players in our country, many of them come from Visayas and Mindanao.”
Targeting a season-opener by January or February next year, Guingona disclosed that he and his coordinators are now working closely with authorities to secure clearance.
“The groundwork has already been laid out. We are just waiting for the green light. We can rest assured that the health and safety of the teams and organizers will be of paramount importance.”