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31st Seaoil MMBL tips off Saturday
by rick olivares
The 31st edition of the Seaoil Metro Manila Basketball League, the secondary school post-season tournament will tip off this Saturday, November 9, 2013, at the San Beda College Gym in Manila.
Forty-eight high schools spread will be participating in this tournament that will run all the way to January of 2014. These teams will be spread across four divisions for boys and one for girls.
San Beda High School’s legendary coach Ato Badolato founded the league as a means for high school players to continue their season that usually ended in October when the NCAA and UAAP tournaments were over. “We’ve grown from having seven or eight teams to now having over 50 schools participating,” said Badolato, who serves as MMBL commissioner, of the league’s growth. “And this is the second consecutive year where we are having a girls’ division where eight schools will be competing.”
Badolato acknowledges that it wasn’t easy getting the league started. The tournament coincidentally was organized not soon after San Beda took a sabbatical from the NCAA following on court violence in the late 1970s to the early 80s. “When we got it going, other schools we invited would ask, ‘Sino kasali diyan?’ And when we’d say, ‘San Beda, Ateneo, La Salle…’ they would back out.”
“The MMBL, as the name states, is for Metro Manila. Not only do you get to watch players from the NCAA or UAAP but due to the size of the league many less exposed schools get an opportunity to compete."
Eric Altamirano, Program Director of the Seaoil National Basketball Training Center said that as the official grassroots program of the SBP, their efforts to promote and grow the sport of basketball would be difficult without the sponsorship of oil company: “Seaoil is proud to partner with the Metro Manila Basketball League (MMBL) and is committed to sponsor the MMBL for the next four. "Coach Alex Compton and I believe that with this long-term partnership with Seaoil, it will greatly benefit more players and coaches especially the Schools in the NCR. This would assure the presence of NCR in National High School Championship. They will also be joined by the champion teams from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao."
Noted hoopsters who first got attention in the MMBL include Benjie Paras (San Beda) and Kirk Long (Faith Academy) to name a few.
The key matches in this Saturday’s tip-off include De La Salle Zobel taking on Chiang Kai Shek at 8am and St. Benilde International School facing Reedley International at 2:15pm at the San Beda Gym.
Defending Division Two champions Faith Academy play Valenzuela Christian Academy at 11:30am at the Faith Academy gym in Valley Golf, Antipolo.
International School Manila tries to defend its home turf when they play King’s Montessori School at their gym at Bonifacio Global City also at 11:30am.
On Sunday, November 10, current Division One champions, Hope Christian High School defend their crown when they play the Adamson Baby Falcons at 930am at San Beda Gym #2 while current UAAP champions National University Bullpups tangle with the Xavier Stallions at 9:30am at San Beda Gym #1.
The 30th edition of the MMBL will be played on weekends at the Faith Academy Gym in Valley Golf, Antipolo; the International School of Manila gym at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig; the San Beda College Gym; and Xavier School Gym in San Juan, Manila.
High schools participating in this year’s MMBL include Adamson University, Ateneo de Manila University, Caritas Don Bosco School, Chiang Kai Shek College, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Colegio San Agustin Biñan, Colegio San Benildo Rizal, De La Salle Lipa, De La Salle University Integrated School, De La Salle Zobel, Diliman Preparatory School, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Escuela de Sophia of Caloocan, Espiritu Santo Parochial School, Faith Academy, Far Eastern University, Hope Christian High School, International School Manila, Jubilee Christian Academy, Kings Montessori, La Salle College Antipolo, La Salle Greenhills, Lourdes School Mandaluyong, Malayan Institute of Technology, Marist School, National University, Our Lady of Fatima University, Quezon City Science High School, Reedley International School, Rich Golden Shower Montessori, San Beda College, San Beda College Alabang, St. James Academy, St. Jude Catholic School, St. Michael College Laguna, St. Stephen High School, St. Thomas More Academy, The Seed Montessori Academy, Trinity University, University of Perpetual Help Dalta System, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines Integrated School, UNO High School, Valenzuela Christian School, and Xavier School.