Star athletes from Zamboanga have expressed their all-out support for the Zamboanga Valientes who are seeing action in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Invitational 2023 at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Magnolia’s Mark Barroca and Converge’s Mike Tolomia from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) together with Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist middleweight boxer Eumir Felix Marcial and bantamweight pug Jonas Sultan are also encouraging fellow Filipinos and those in Singapore to support the Valientes.
“The Zamboanga Valientes are all primed up because of the encouraging messages they received from fellow top Zamboangueño athletes like Barroca, Tolomia, Marcial and Jonas,” team owner Junnie Navarro said.
“This is very meaningful to all Zamboangueños since this is the first time that they will be representing the country in the ABL,” Navarro added. “Before the Valientes flew to Singapore, Barroca showed up during the team’s last practice session last week.”
Marcial, the reigning Southeast Asian boxing king, also came to show his support for the Valientes.
Zamboanga City Mayor John Dalipe and Sulta also wished the team well. The
Valientes, co-owned by Cory Navarro, are battling against Louvre Surabaya Indonesia at presstime.
Comprising the team are American imports Antonio Hester, Will Deng, Ryan Smith and heritage player Jeremy Arthur. Also part of the team are former Gilas players JR Cawaling and Kemark Cariño, homegrown players Rudy Lingganay, Jeff Bernardo and Denver Cadiz.
Ateneo De Zamboanga coach Bobedick delos Santos will be calling the shots for the Valientes.
Delos Santos has helped a number of local players who made names in the Big City, including San Beda stars Peter Alfaro and Rhayann Amsali, and Ateneo’s Forthsky Padrigao, FEU’s Jens Knuttel and Tolomia.