|The Zamboanga Valientes with muse Empress Schuck|
MANILA--For 20 years, the Zamboanga Valientes MLV founded by the late businessman Lando Navarro have been supporting Zamboangueño athletes to reach their dream in their respective sports like basketball, softball, boxing, weightlifting and just recently the 3x3 basketball.
Zamboanga City has been the home of many national athletes, amateur and even professionals in different sports for many years like Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and Tokyo Olympic-bound Eumir Felix Marcial, among others.
And now, businesswoman Cory Navarro and Mike Venezuela of MLV Accounting Australia are continuing the legacy of supporting the proud Zamboangueño athletes in different sports until now especially in these trying times.
“Here in Valientes we will continue supporting our homegrown players in various sports. For 20 years, we’re able to produce a champion in national softball tournament in 2002 during my husband time and we are doing it in other sports as well. So I believe we can also be champion in basketball,” said Navarro.
“We want to help our fellow Zamboangueños.”
The recently-concluded Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Pilipinas basketball tournament was a big testament to the people of Zamboanga proving their capability to compete in the national level since winning the 2011 NBA 3x national championship at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Although they didn’t take home a title in the four-leg tournament, the Zamboanga Valientes MLV won the hearts of the people of Zamboanga for the never-say-die attitude brought by Rudy Lingganay, Arar de Leon, Jonjon Rebollos, Gino Jumaoas and Med Salim.
They have made it to the semifinals of leg 1 and then fought their way in the playoffs for the following legs despite de Leon’s shoulder injury.
“Their amazing run brought so much pride and honor to the City of Zamboanga for the entire tournament. It was a hard and tough race represented by all the homegrown players,” said Navarro. “This also opened the door of opportunities for aspiring ballers in Zamboanga City, clearly they are the top priority for future leagues.”
Besides the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Pilipinas, the Zamboanga MLV Valientes will also participate in the newly-established professional league National Basketball League early next year.
The Valientes have supported boxers Anthony Marcial, the former WBO oriental lightweight champion, Matthew Arcillas, and former world title challenger Jonas Sultan. They also brought players in the UAAP men’s basketball like former Adamson’s Arao-ouf Julkipli, UE’s Jumaoas and Jonathan Parreno in the PBA.
The Valientes are also working on weightlifter Diaz’s program of providing shoes to aspiring weightlifters.
Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH