PBA champion head coach Jong Uichico has been named as consultant of the new league Pinoyliga Cup which is set to open with its Inter-Alumni this Saturday, July 2, at the Gatorade Hoops Gym in Mandaluyong City.
Uichico said he believes in the league’s objective that is a recreational tournament which will cater high-level basketball among 10 participating teams.
The initial Pinoyliga tournament will be the Inter-Alumni division which will be divided into two groups, the 40-up Division A and the 38-up Division B, and Uichico said it’s going to be an exciting event.
“To see former college players, including those that were able to play professional basketball, is a good thing because basketball is our passion,” said Uichico, currently the head of coaches and referees academy of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
“My involvement with Pinoyliga is to provide expertise, share my experience and provide assistance to the organizers. While it’s a recreational league in nature, we are excited to have a new league because it’s an opportunity for basketball players to continue playing with this new venue,” he added.
Uichico owns nine PBA championships with three different teams, winning six trophies with San Miguel Beer, two with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and one with TNT Tropang Giga.
The 59-year-old mentor is currently No. 4 in the all-time list of coaches with most PBA championships behind Tim Cone with 24, the late Baby Dalupan with 15, and Norman Black with 11 championships.
Uichico’s addition to Pinoyliga will help the debuting league in aspects like basketball operations.
“It’s a big and important factor to have a champion coach in Jong Uichico to be involved in Pinoyliga. We’re very excited of course to have him as consultant,” said Pinoyliga founder Benny Benitez, the developer of the Pinoyliga software being used by leisure basketball players for online statistics.
The Inter-Alumni Cup will provide former college and university players – like players who suited up in the PBA – an avenue to continue playing and carry the colors of their alma mater.
The participating teams in the 40-up Division A are Letran, San Beda University, University of Santo Tomas, San Sebastian College-Recoletos and University of the East. In the 38-up Division B, the teams are De La Salle University, Mapua, Aquinas and SBU’s 1 and 2 teams.
Aside from the Inter-Alumni Cup, Benitez said that they are also finalizing details regarding the Collegiate Cup and the Corporate Cup featuring teams from different companies.