PAMPANGA’S Best? Pampanga Dragons? Pampanga’s Sisig? Pampanga Heat? Pampanga Saints?
As tempting as these monikers are, management of the newest expansion of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League chose not to use any of them.
The team, which is co-owned by AG Gonzales and Brenz Gonzales, the two sons of Congressman Dong Gonzales, Representative of the third district of Pampanga, has decided not to choose from any of these monikers.
According to Congressman Gonzales, Team Pampanga intends to field in players mostly coming from the province itself.
“We want to give exposure to our homegrown. Hindi bale nang hindi sikat, basta ang gusto namin, kami ang magpasikat. Parang si Manny Pacquiao nung araw,” said Congressman Gonzales.
From the list submitted by team manager Simon Mangio, Pampanga has no ex-pros on the roster, but has several notable players who played in the PCBL and MPBL.
Allen Enriquez, a 6-foot-4 forward, played for Caloocan in the recently concluded MPBL-Anta Rajah Cup, the inaugural staging of the fastest growing regional basketball league in the country.
Enriquez also played for Foton in the PCBL where he was joined by Ed Rivera, Marlon Gomez, Jeric Nacpil, Marvin Moraga and Marc Lopez, all included in the Pampanga squad in the MPBL, which means the team won’t have much problem in terms of building chemistry.
A soon to be put up gym in Bacolor, a third class municipality in the province of Pampanga, will be the homecourt of Pampanga, although the team also identified Assumption University in San Fernando and Don Henrico Ventura Technological State University in Bacolor as the alternate venues.
And yes, Pampanga has already identified a moniker and the team will be known as the Pampanga Lanterns.