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MPBL: Bicol Volcanoes ready to erupt


As far as the Bicol Volcanoes are concerned, the sky is the limit to what they can achieve in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).

They are aiming high right on their initial foray in the fast-growing regional league founded by no less than Senator Manny Pacquiao.

“We’re aiming for the championship. Medyo ambisyoso kami. But we are focused on what we intend to achieve and we told our players about it,” said Bicol Volcanoes team owner Gil Orense during the 31st “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros recently.

Bicol Volcanoes team officials and players pose with TOPS President Ed Andaya during the 31st TOPS Usapang Sports at the National Press Club  In Intramuros, Manila.

Bicol Volcanoes team officials and players pose with TOPS President Ed Andaya during the 31st TOPS Usapang Sports at the National Press Club In Intramuros, Manila.

“Our goal is really to represent the entire Bicol region. We built a team composed mostly of homegrown players – 13 of them. We want our fellow Bicolanos to be proud of the team and we even now use the hashtag Purong Oragon to drum up support,” added Orense.

Also present during the two-hour-long sports program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, PAGCOR, Community Basketball Association, and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drinks are Bicol Volcanoes vice president Mark Tan and LCC Malls officials Eric Poiret, Ed Ponce and Christian Tan.

A major reason for this noticeable enthusiasm of the Volcanoes is their partnership with the leading regional retailer in Bicol, the LCC Malls of the Tan family.

“LCC is really the pride and joy of the Bicolanos in terms of shopping experience. And now we see a good opportunity to be a part of a regional team like the Bicol Volcanoes,” explained Ponce.

Tan, vice president for supermarkets of the LCC, said it is not hard to support a worthy endeavor like the Volcanoes.

“As a basketball fan, I am happy I can now mix business and pleasure,” explained Tan.

“Actually, LCC is always around to support every project beneficial to the Bicolanos. We already had tree planting, medical mission, job fairs, and feeding programs.”

Tan, who co-owns the team, said he envisions a United Bicol soon.

“It is more of a shared passion. We believe in the power of sports in how to inspire and empower the Bicolano athletes,” he added.

“As far as the team is concerned, we see LCC as a regional conglomerate that’s helping in various fields, known and unknown, they are also heavily in the field of education. They have a lot of underprivileged scholars in terms of education. Sports will always be a part of the lives of the people.”

“In fact, three of our ex-pros — Ronjay Buenafe, Alex Nuyles, and Jonathan Aldave – all come from Bicol.”

A highlight of the joint appearance of the Bicol Volcanoes owners and LCC Malls officials is the signing of the sponsorship agreement starting with the 2019 season.

Symbolic Bicol Volcanoes jerseys were also presented by Orense and Mark Tan to the three LCC officials – Poiret, Ponce, and Christian Tan.

“This partnership is part of LCC’s CRS program. We believe that LCC’s mission and vision are aligned with the Bicol Volcanoes battle cry. We have a lot of talents here in Bicol. We hope that this partnership will help in our quest to tap and develop future cage superstars,” explained Ponce.

Poiret, a French national, said LCC Superstores – which has a total of 83 branches all over Bicol – owe its success to the people of Bicol so that they now want to pay it forward through sports development.

Also present during the weekly session shown on Facebook live via Glitter Livestream are several homegrown stars.

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