Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
One of the country’s staunchest basketball backers will test the waters of a fledgling league in his unwavering support of the sport.
For San Juan owner Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, it’s high time his Knights show their real worth in the Pilipinas Super League Pro Division Second Conference Dumper Cup.
Fittingly, the rivalry between San Juan and Davao Occidental-Cocolife is just one of the storylines to look forward to in the Knights’ inclusion in the tough 16-team field.
“Itong Davao and San Juan, may existing rivalry ang mga iyan even during our MPBL days,” Estrada said last Tuesday in a meeting with PSL officials led by President Rocky Chan, Vice President Ray Alao, and Commissioner Marc Pingris at the Senate that officially rolled the red carpet for San Juan.
“We are looking forward na talagang magkaroon ng competitive na mga laban ang Davao and San Juan. I expect a better league. More people to watch and more exciting games,” he added in the gab that was also attended by head of basketball operations Leo Isaac, Knights coaching consultant Philip Cezar, and team manager Jun Usman.
The Knights and the Tigers met in the National Finals of the MPBL Datu and Lakan seasons.
Estrada emphasized his firm stand against game-fixing not just in pro leagues but even in the collegiate ranks.
“Game-fixing has no place in basketball. I will be the first one as your senator to investigate kung mayroon man,” Estrada said. “Kahit anong liga – PBA, UAAP, NCAA, pati itong PSL and MPBL, kapag mayroon tayong proof, I will be the one who will initiate to investigate.”
San Juan, however, has to cool its heels first before it plunges into action in the tilt presented by Dumper party-list, Winzer, and Converge and supported by Wcube Solutions Inc., MDC, Unisol, Don Benitos, and Finn Cotton.
“Wala pa kaming players. We’re still recruiting kasi we just finished from another tournament,” Estrada said as the Knights had just finished their campaign in the 2022 MPBL Season.