The Philippine National Police (PNP) basketball team will represent the country in the 9th Zhen Chenggong Cup slated for October 21 to 26 at the Nan’an City Stadium in Fujian Province, China.
The PNP team will join other commercial teams from South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Fujian province in the weeklong tournament organized by the Fujian Provincial Administration of Sport, Nan’an City People’s Government, Nan’an City Overseas Chinese Sports Association and Nan’an City Basketball Association.
The PNP basketball team was formed five years ago as part of the police force’s sports development program.
“The PNP has been taking part in local and foreign tournaments in other sports, like shooting, badminton and dragon boat. These friendly competitions are being undertaken in the spirit of sportsmanship and to promote a healthy body and mind,” said Police Sr. Supt. Gilbert Cruz, who will head the basketball team going to China, during Wednesday’s luncheon meeting at the Golden Bay Seafood Restaurant in Pasay City.
The PNP squad, which is concurrently seeing action in the 5th UNTV Basketball Cup with a 2-0 record, include Julius Criste, Harold Decena, Abul Khair Bayabao, Japhet Cabahug, Ronaldo Abaya, Crislyn Elopre, Ricardo Cabrera Jr., Harold Sta. Cruz, Jojo Abutog, Alejandro Yanguiling Jr. and Antonio Tolentino.
Federico Samson will serve as head coach of the PNP team, which finished runner-up in the first, second and fourth editions of the UNTV Basketball Cup. He will be assisted by Juven Formacil. Police Supt. Jerome Balbontin and Ernie Sta. Cruz will also accompany the PNP team.
Wednesday’s luncheon meeting was hosted by Asia Pacific University Sports Union (APUSU) president Alvin Tai Lian, who will head the Philippine delegation to China. Also present were deputy head of delegation Tai Sing min; Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) president David Ong; FESSAP official and Megaworld Corp.’s Danilo Madlansacay; and FESSAP executive vice president Robert Milton Calo, who represented Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) secretary general Graham Lim.
The Nan’an City team won the 8th Zheng Chenggong Cup while Taiwan and Singapore, finished second and third, respectively.
The Zheng Chenggong Cup, held every two years, is a tournament held in honor of the legendary Chinese military general and Nan’an City hero Zheng Chenggong, who during the 1600s was chiefly responsible for the recapturing of Taiwan from foreign invaders after 350 years of war.
“Carrying forward the spirit of Chenggong and witnessing the rapid development of Nan’an” is the theme of the tournament, which seeks to promote patriotism, foster friendship among overseas Chinese and showcase the economic, social and sports progress in Nan’an City.