FORMER Senator Jinggoy Estrada is excited for the return of his San Juan Knights in the local basketball landscape.
On Saturday, the team owner led the Knights in joining the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, the fastest growing regional basketball league in the Philippines. He was welcomed by league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes and operations head Zaldy Realubit during the contract signing.
San Juan is the 13th squad, and the third expansion team, to participate in the fledgling league put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“We’re all excited, lalo na yung mga kababayan sa San Juan. Alam mo naman sa San Juan, maraming mahihilig sa basketball. It’s a basketball-crazy city,” Estrada topld FoxSports.ph.
San Juan was an MBA champion in Year 2000 and Estrada vowed to field in a competitive unit led by former PBA star Mac Cardona, who will be leading the charge for the Knights to be coached by Randy Alcantara, who is fulfilling his contractual obligations as an assistant coach of the Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay.
“We’re not starting our preparations for next conference. I think we have two or three ex-pros who are going to play for San Juan. Yes, Mac Cardona is one of them,” added Estrada.
A multiple scoring champion in the PBA, Cardona will serve as the focal point of San Juan’s offense. Another ex-PBA player, EJ Feihl, is also working out with the team.
According to Estrada, he shares the same vision of Senator Pacquiao in giving opportunities for people from all walks of life thru basketball.
“It’s very competitive , It’s exciting,” added Estrada. “I hope the league will last long. Ang kagandahan nito, maraming pwedeng ma-discover na homegrown talents na puwede nating ma-develop for the future.