ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Zamboanga's Family’s Brand Valientes, one of the teams seeing action in the ongoing Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL Datu Cup), will be re-launched as Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines next year in a bid to strengthen the team in the MPBL Datu Cup.

The team will also formally announce their official players that include five Zamboangueños - Lloyd Castor, Darwin Cordero, Von Lanete, Robin Roño, and Das Esa.

The other players of the team are Michael Galinato, Jay-Ar Yasa, Noy Javier, Harold Arboleda, Ryan Buenafe, Eric Rodriguez, Ivan Villanueva, Joseph Nalos, Allan Santos, JM Noble, Reed Juntilla, and Rino Berame.

The team’s coach is Raymond Valenzona.

Nini Arquiza, Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines operations head, said on Saturday the team reshuffle arose from management issues that have been threshed out. She did not elaborate.

Arquiza said the management under Anita Kaw wants to strengthen the team and “go for the championship.”    

The Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines has seven wins and 10 loses in the on-going MPBL Datu Cup. On January 7, they will face the Bataan Risers, the number one team in the north division.

Arquiza said the players of the team have proven they can compete in a high-level basketball competition.

The MPBL is the third major league the Zamboanga team has participated in. The other major leagues it joined before were the Liga Pilipinas and the PBA D League.

The Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines is among the 13 basketball teams in the south division of the MPBL. The other teams are Muntinlupa Cagers, Parañaque Patriots, Laguna Heroes, Davao Occidental Tigers, Bacoor Strikers, Batangas City Athletics, Basilan Steels, Imus Bandera, General Santos Warriors, Marikina Shoemasters, Rizal Crusaders, and Cebu City Sharks.

The north division team are the San Juan Knights, Mandaluyung El Tigre, Manila Stars, Bataan Risers, Makati Skyscrapers, Bulacan Kuyas, Pampanga Lanterns, Caloocan Supremos, Valenzuela Classic, Navotas Clutch, Quezon City Capital, Pasay Voyagers, and Pasig Pirates. (PNA)