Negros Muscovados will field a squad loaded with local talent when they join the Mumbaki Cup of the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) which is scheduled to open on June 12. According to team owner John Gilbor, 10 Negrens have been listed as negotiations are underway for 10 more players to bolster a roster aimed at qualifying for the playoffs on their first stint in the country’s top regional league. . Gilbor, owner of Silvergraces Construction and Construction Supply in Pontevedra and Bacolod City, said he envisions the Muscovados to be 70% Negrens. “I want to promote the local talent of Negros. Encourage young people to strive to reach the MPBL and show their courage on national television,” said Gilbor, also general manager of Muscovados, co-owned by his father Engr. Bernabé Gilbor. With team scrums still banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilbor said his services have been undergoing one-on-one training so far. Bacolodnons Jafet Claridad, Francis John Pareno, Jeric Adorio, Janus Calma, Jaycee Adjei, Rolly Jaca and Christopher Menguez are in the fold with Patric Dave Yulo from Binalbagan, Ritcher Santillan from Sagay City and Jonathan Gantalao Jr. from Canlaon City. Menquez and Claridad have MP experience, while Adorio was a former light bomber star at Jose Rizal University. Former Cebu Shark Alfred Codilla joins them. Gibor said they will be recruiting other great men soon. Jérôme Aledron from UNO-R (University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos) is chosen to train the Muscovados. He will be assisted by Joephil Cercado of the University of San Agustin, Edmund Sibaya, Ireneo Morales and conditioning trainer Jay Divinagracia. Gilbor believes the Muscuvados will be competitive because they will play with great pride, having a winning tradition to defend like the Negros Slashers of the former MBA (Metropolitan Basketball Association). Gilbor met with Senator Manny Pacquiao, COO and founder of MPBL, on February 8, to formalize their entry into the league. MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said Negros would be a welcome addition to the growing MPBL family. The Muscovados will be the West Visayas’ third MPBL team and 32nd overall. The Iloilo United Royals and Bacolod Master Sardines joined the MPBL Chooks-to-Go Lakan 2019 season which only ended last March in a bubble setup in Subic. The Davao Occidental Tigers became champions after beating the San Juan Knights, 3-1, in the national final. If the national health situation does not improve, the MPBL plans to return to Subic for its fourth season.
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