COUNCILOR Onyx Crisologo of the First District of Quezon City and owner of the Capitals team in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League would have become the second politician to see action in the fastest growing regional basketball league in the country.
Bong Go, Special Assistant to President Rodrigo Duterte, will be the first politician to play in the MPBL as he has committed to see action for the Muntinlupa Cagers-Angelis Resort. Go will play on opening day on June 12.
Crisiologo would have been the second. He would have been eligible to play as a homegrown for the Black Mamba-backed squad as he spent the past few months keeping himself in shape and joined the team’s training.
But Crisologo decided to ditch the plan and gave way to more deserving players.
“There are more deserving players,” Crisologo told FOX Sports Philippines. “I trust the line up that we have and even though I wanted to play, I think we have a great group of guys who are ready to compete this coming MPBL season.”
“Maybe next year.”
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The Capitals made some bold acquisitions in the off season.
In the inaugural staging of the event put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and cage great Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner, the Capitals competed without any ex-pro players.
This season, though, the Capitals tapped not just one but two ex-PBA players in Jojo Duncil and Magi Sison.
Duncil was part of the 2011 Governors Cup champion team of Petron and is going to play a major role in providing leadership to this squad.
Sison, on the other hand. is a 6-foot-7 center who played for the UP Fighting Maroons and became part of the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas program coached by Rajko Toroman. He also played for Shopinas in the PBA.
The team also acquired hardworking forward Mon Mabayo from Valenzuela and kept the core of the team that includes Jay Collado, PJ Barua, Hessed Gabo, John Tayongtong, Andoy Estrella, Jomar Santos, Jeff Morillo and Alwin Alday.
Last season, the team made its way to the playoffs, but lost in the quarterfinal round to Valenzuela. This time, head coach Vis Valencia is looking to surpass the team’s previous finish, but knows he has to be more clever in pacing his team playing in a prolonged season.