Zamboanga Valientes MLV is considered to be the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 Pilipinas dark horse in the fifth leg grand finale starting on Friday at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
After making it to the semifinals in the first leg and a couple of playoff runs the following legs, the Valientes are aiming for the bigger picture: to bring home the title to the people of the Zamboanga City.
“Zamboangueños are excited to watch the future of 3×3 and we are hoping to take home the title,” said the young Junnie Navarro, a former member of the RP Youth team and son of philanthropist and businesswoman Cory Navarro who co-owns the team with Mike Venezuela.
“They are the dark horse of this tournament, and I believe, just like the rest of the Zamboangueños, they will do whatever it takes to win each game.”
The team of Rudy Lingganay, Gino Juamaoas, Med Salim, Arar de Leon and Jonjon Rebollos are on a mission under coach Joseph Romarate.
Lingganay, a former Philippine Basketball Association player, was impressive for Valientes’ 21-11 victory over Petra Cement Rockies-Roxas ZN last Tuesday in the elimination round of the fourth leg.
Although Zamboanga Valientes didn’t reach the semifinals of the fourth leg, Navarro remains optimistic of the Valientes’ chances of pulling off a surprise in the last leg.
Navarro also praised Arar de Leon for showing the bravery and the heart of full-blooded Zamboangueño despite playing with an injured shoulder in the fourth leg.
The Zamboanga Valientes MLV was built 14 years ago to accomodate and give homegrown players of Zamboanga Peninsula the opportunity to show their talents nationwide. In fact, the Valientes began playing in various commercial leagues in 2006 in NBC and 2008 in LIGA Pilipinas.