AFTER their successful stint in global 3X3, the Zamboanga Valientes will be testing the action in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Invitational Tournament Series 2023 starting January 2.
Team owner Rolando Junnie Navarro confirmed over the weekend of the Valientes’ participation in the ABL, which returns after after a three-years pandemic hiatus.
“Zamboanga Valientes is now getting ready to play in the ABL and the team will give its best to win the crown,” said Navarro, noting that they are still in the process of getting a head coach and completing their roster.
The Valientes, according to Navarro, will be having five homegrown players and three imports. They are eyeing 6-foot-7 Zav Lucero of University of the Philippines, former Barangay Ginebra guard Sol Mercado and another competitive big man.
Also playing for Zamboanga Valientes—owned by CEO Cory Navarro and Mike Venezuela of MLV Accounting—are homegrown Rudy Lingganay, Jeff Bernardo and 5-foot-5 Denver Cadiz.
Niño Reji Natividad is head of basketball operations, Anton Altamirano is the team manager, Joseph Romarate is the executive director and Bobedick Delos Santos and RJ Argamino are the coaching staff.
“This team will offer more young, undiscovered and exciting new players which will be an exciting and explosive team to watch,” Navarro said.
The Valientes won the Champions League Basketball 3X3 Australia I and finished third in the Thailand 3×3 Super League.
Among Zamboanga Valientes’ products are Jonathan Parreno, Gino Jumaoas of University of the East and Arouf Julkipli of Adamson University, as well as PBA players like Mark Barroca, Mike Tolomia and RR Garcia.
They also made history at hometown during the MAVS Dayo Serye which drew a capacity crowd of more than 15,000 spectators on top of thousands who watched on Facebook live steam.
Founded by the late Lando Navarro in 2006, Zamboanga Valientes also support athletes in other sports, including Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Olympics and boxing bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial and former world boxing title challenger Jonas Sultan.