NCRAA cage tourney gets underway

Games Today (Olivarez College gym) 9 a.m. opening ceremony 11 a.m. Olivarez College vs ACSAT 12:30 p.m. PATTS vs EAC 2 p.m. UDM vs NCBA

NEW TALENTS are expected to emerge when the 14th Petron-National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) men’s basketball tournament gets going today at the Olivarez College gym.

The Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals are back from a one-year suspension and will start their campaign to regain the title they should have defended last season when they clash with PATTS School of Aeronautics.

With playmaker Bong Melocoton gone, the Generals will bank on a new generation of standouts as they plunge into action in the second match of the day at 12:30 p.m.

Earlier, Asian College of Science and Technology Lightnings will try to make their presence felt when they take on host Olivarez College earlier at 11 a.m. after colorful opening rites at 9 a.m.

Unibersidad de Manila will meet the National College of Business and Arts Wildcats at 2 p.m. in the tournament which has Molten and Mikasa as the official ball.

"This is a worthy cause which should be supported. A lot of talents come from this league. Petron is all about giving equal opportunity to the youth. We thought this would be a good start," said Charmaine Canillas, who is Petron’s advertising and promotions executive.

The tournament boasts of 11 cage squads seeing action, and with a proud history of having produced cagers, who have excelled beyond their collegiate years.

Among the stars who have brought prominence to the league as former Philippine School of Business Administration standout Marc Pingris and the De Ocampo brothers, Yancy and Ranidel, and Chris Pacana, who are all products of the St. Francis Doves.

This is also the league where Koy Banal started his brilliant coaching career after he once led the PSBA Jaguars to a crown following a 14-0 sweep.

The Doves, coached by Gabby Velasco, will seek their second straight crown after taking it last year from the Arellano University Flaming Arrows.

The Flaming Arrows, with Leo Isaac calling the shots, will be bannered by a young set of players, and will give the regular campaigners a hard time as they try to fight their way into the finals again.