By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Make way, the head of the high table is here.
Ladies and gentlemen, the biggest hoops league in the City of Love is back.
After a successful developmental league that mostly catered to Iloilo’s talented kids and teenagers, the JB Amateur Basketball League (JB ABL) will be returning with a bang, featuring another thrilling conference with its “Battle of the Seven Districts”.
A big league that will be participated by Iloilo City’s most talented basketball players aged 25 and below, the Battle of the Seven Districts is the third installment of JB ABL in its jam-packed calendar of activities this 2023.
JB ABL cordially invited the core groups in each district that will have the power to choose and form their team which will represent their respective places this upcoming September 17, 2023, in the opening ceremony of the league.
These seven districts that will vie for the championship title are Jaro, Lapuz, Lapaz, Mandurriao, Molo, City Proper, and Arevalo.
Since JB ABL is a private league, commissioner Jayphet Balbacal confirmed that the formation of the respective teams and its team managers are in no way related to other pocket leagues sanctioned by the LGUs or any private organizations.
In an interview with Mr. Balbacal, the sports patron revealed that this league hopes to bring the best out of the talented rising superstars in the metro.
For the past years, most of the leagues in Iloilo City have been dwelling around the commercial and long-time stars in the City of Love, a thing that Mr. Balbacal wanted to change in the evolving hoops scene.
“Gaan ta naman ni sila spotlight. For pila ka years, na anad na kita nga mga Ilonggo nga basta big leagues, commercial and huge names dayun ang malantaw ta. This is a different flavor. We hope the same ang support para sa mga kabataan naton nga gasunod yapak sa mga naka establish na names sa basketball diri saton. With this league, we will be showcasing them in every aspect,” said Balbacal in an exclusive interview with the Daily Guardian.
As of this writing, almost all teams are now done with their selection process and are now undergoing intensive training in preparation for the kick-off date of the league.
“Hopefully, just like the past leagues sang JB ABL, maging successful ini kag supportahan man sang mga Ilonggos. We vie to continue bringing high-level competition diri sa aton, backstopped by the utmost respect sang tanan including the participating teams, organizers, our referees, partners, and the other sectors,” added Mr. Balbacal.