Soccsksargen makes much-awaited MPBL debut vs. Muntinlupa

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

July 12, 2019, 1:51 pm

MANILA — Barring yet another postponement, Soccsksargen will make its much-anticipated Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) debut when it battles Muntinlupa in the curtain-raiser of a three-game card on Friday night at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

The Marlins, not to be confused with the SocSarGen Marlins of the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA), had their supposed first two games postponed, but as it stands, there is no stopping them from playing this time as they will face the Cagers at 4 p.m.

Despite being a totally different franchise from the Marlins 1.0, the current Marlins incarnation will still have some MBA flavor as former Pampanga Dragon Norman Gonzales returns to club basketball play to lead the team.

Also making his way back to the play-for-pay ranks is former UP Fighting Maroon Abby Santos, a former first-round pick in the PBA Draft who suited up for TNT.

On the other hand, Bacoor City will play undermanned against host squad Caloocan in the main game at 8:30 p.m.

The Strikers will be playing sans Head Coach Chris Gavina, who joined Rain Or Shine in its trip to Cagayan De Oro for its crucial PBA Commissioner's Cup game against San Miguel on Saturday night.

Assistant Coach Aldrin Morante, who already had experience as MPBL head coach before, will take the interim role.

Also out for Bacoor City is reigning MPBL Most Valuable Player Gab Banal, who joined Mighty Sports in Taipei for the Jones Cup.

The other game of the triple-header will have Makati and Bataan facing off at 6:30 p.m. (PNA)