NBC CONFERENCE:  CAGAYAN  DE  ORO  BATTLES  ILOILO  CITY IN OPENER

CAGAYAN  DE  ORO  CITY, June 4, 2004
 
(MALAYA)
 -  Regional basketball with a new flavor starts Friday when the Cagayan de Oro Stars battle the visiting Iloilo Warriors in the kickoff match of the National Basketball Conference's inaugural season at the Xavier University gym here.

The Stars and Warriors collide after the 6 p.m. opening ceremony where Miss Rosie Jane Acuram will sing the national anthem, the Sentrong COCean will render an invocation song and the Dunkin' Donut dancers will provide entertainment numbers.

Councilors Alvin R. Calingin and Benjo Benaldo will join NBC chairman Louie Kierulf and secretary general Tito Palma in the opening rites.

The Ozamiz Cotta and Cebu Tribes will play in the Southern Division together with the Stars and the Warriors. Competing in the Northern Division are the Baguio Cardinals, Spring Cooking Oil-Laguna, the Batangas 29ers and Forward Taguig.

The Cardinals and 29ers will clash on June 11 in Baguio City to kick off Northern Division action in the tourney sponsored by Panasonic, Spring Cooking Oil, PCSO, Distileria Limtuaco Suplicio Lines, Air Philippines, Supercat, Accel and Molten.

NBC president Nathaniel "Tac" Padilla, co-owner of Spring-Laguna with Gov. Teresita "Ningning" Lazaro, sees a bright future for the tourney, which will be played on a home-and-away format.

"We got good crowds during our pre-season games. This is a good sign," said the reigning national pistol champion.

For his part, NBC basketball operations head Noel Zarate said: "We will do everything to bring regional basketball back to the masses and live up to our slogan 'Ang Liga ng Bayan.'

NBC games will be shown at 4 p.m. every Sunday on NBN 4.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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