By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Negros Muscovados are looking to uphold the winning tradition of the Negros Slashers of the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) when it competes in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) later this year.
According to Muscovados co-owner John Gilbor, the Slashers’ MBA feat might be a tough act to follow but the newly-entered MPBL team hopes to make the Negrenses proud.
“I want to promote local talents of Negros, encourage the youth to strive hard to make it to the MPBL and show their mettle on national TV,” said Gilbor, also the general manager of the Muscovados co-owned by his father, Engr. Bernabe Gilbor.
To show the Muscovados’ goal, the team will be fielding a lineup made up mainly of homegrown talents. Currently the team has 10 Negrense players signed up while negotiations are ongoing for 10 more players.
“I envisioned the Negros Muscovados to be composed of 70 percent Negrenses,” said John, who owns the Silvergraces Construction and Construction Supply in Pontevedra and Bacolod City.
Among those in Muscovados roster were Bacolodnons Jafet Claridad, Francis John Pareno, Jeric Adorio, Janus Calma, Jaycee Adjei, Rolly Jaca, and Christopher Menguez.
Also in the fold were Binalbagan’s Patric Dave Yulo, Sagay City’s Ritcher Santillan and Canlaon City’s Jonathan Gantalao Jr. The Muscovados also signed up former Cebu Sharks player Alfred Codilla.
Serving as Muscovados head coach is Rolando Aledron Jr. of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, while Joephil Cercado, Edmund Sibaya, Ireneo Morales and conditioning coach Jay Divinagracia will serve as assistant coaches.
Muscovados will be the third Western Visayas-based team in the MPBL aside from Iloilo United Royals of JJ Javelosa and Bacolod City-Master Sardines, which made their MPBL debuts during the 2019-2020 season of the MPBL Lakan Cup./ASC, WDJ