by Jonas Terrado
UAAP champion Ateneo, NCAA titlist San Beda and last year’s Foundation Cup winner Go for Gold lead a cast of 20 teams that will participate in the 2019 PBA D-League season which starts on Feb. 14 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Ateneo and San Beda are two of 15 school-based teams competing in the league’s ninth season while Go for Gold is aiming for a second straight title with a squad composed mostly of players from College of St. Benilde.
Also competing are holdovers Centro Escolar University, Marinerong Pilipino, Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College, AMA Online Education, Che’Lu Bar & Grill and returnees University of Perpetual Help and Wangs Basketball.
The rest of the field are UAAP teams Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas and National University, NCAA squads Letran and San Sebastian, NAASCU champion St. Clare, newcomers Diliman College, Phoenix-Enderun, Trinity College and McDavid.
The league will be played in a single tournament instead of a traditional two-conference season due to the number of teams that have participated in the PBA’s developmental competition.
AMA will pick first in the league’s annual draft slated Tuesday at the PBA Office in Libis, Quezon City.