By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
After almost two years, the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) Western Visayas League is finally back.
Organized to bring back the NBTC hoops spirit to Region VI, the 3×3 Regional grand finals was successfully staged at the Buenavista basketball gym in the province of Guimaras.
A total of 20 teams graced the NBTC 3×3 18-under category while the 23-under category had 16 qualified squads.
These teams were the winners in their respective elimination stages in the provincial qualifier and were joined by contestants from Antique, Aklan, Iloilo City, Iloilo province, Guimaras, etc.
For the 18-under results, the formidable Antique team composed of Kyrok Audrich Palanog, Peter Jason, Rovic John Sorilla, and Romhie Jay Pagunsan were hailed as the champions.
The Antique team got past the tough challenge from a resilient and talented Ninjas squad of Tigbauan, Iloilo.
Palanog was named the Under-18 Best Player and left a mark in Guimaras with his insane athleticism and high motor.
In the 23-under category, the University of San Agustin Golden Eagles dominated their way to the championship round.
The Golden Eagles got the better of team Pavia during the championship game and put on a scoring and chemistry clinic.
Widely-renowned Golden Eagle Franc Steven Tono brought his deep offensive bag to Guimaras and dazzled his way to being the category’s Best Player.
Tono made noise during the recently concluded JB Amateur Basketball League (JB ABL) when he helped the Golden Eagles dispatch the reigning tertiary PRISAA champs WIT to qualify in the finals.
Despite the loss at the hands of the Central Philippine University (CPU) Golden Lions during the finals, Tono notched several Stella & TUF Player of the Game awards and took social media by storm with his highlight dunks.
The NBTC 3×3 event was made possible through the efforts of Western Visayas area head, commissioner, and the current sports director of the West Visayas State University (WVSU) Dr. Richard Gabayoyo.
Dr. Gabayoyo and the rest of the NBTC Western Visayas would also like to thank Mayor Samuel T. Gumarin, Municipal Government of Buenavista, Jefs Builders, Milo, Players’ Center, Gawang Pinoy, and Totie Gambol.