The Senate Advocates, the upper chamber's official basketball team, are determined to bring home the gold when they participate in the first season of the Makabansa Basketball League on Sunday, July 16 at the Meralco Fitness Center in Ortigas.
"It is an honor for the Senate basketball team to be invited in different leagues and play for our chosen charity," said Senator Sonny Angara who is team skipper along with co-captain Senator Joel Villanueva.
Angara will open the ceremonies at 10 am together with the league's sponsor, MVP Sports Foundation Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
The Senate team chose Tahanang Walang Hanggan, a non-profit organization that aims to uplift the lives of persons with disabilities (PWDs), as its beneficiary.
Angara and Villanueva will be joined by 18 Senate officials and employees aged 30 years and above who will form the squad under its new name, "Senate Advocates".
"As we participate in the Makabansa Basketball League, the team has decided to change our name from Senate Defenders to Senate Advocates to emphasize the Senate's advocacies on different fields such as education, tax reform, labor, health and others" team coordinator Rodel Dascil said.
The 20-man basketball team is composed of five representatives each from four different categories which are the executive, 30-34 years old, 35-39 years old and 40 and above age groups.
Under the league's rules, players inside the court must be composed of individuals from each age group, with at least one player from the executive category during the whole game.
Aside from the two senators, players in the executive category will be Director General Ronald Golding, Director General Rodelio Dascil and Commission on Appointments Deputy Secretary Joey Flaminiano.
Garri Sevilla, Harly Ng, Rommel Balboa, James Mangaran and Fritz Floriendo will represent the 30-34 age group.
Carlo Escalada, Christian Andaya, Mark Anthony Marcos, Anthony Emmanuel Lim and Michael Dan Ortega will be part of the 35-39 age group while Samuel Marata, Warren Tan, Reynaldo Malaga and Ryan Endaya will be in the 40 and above group.
Mike Fermin of the Adamson Blue Falcons will be head coach with Carlos San Pedro Fermin as his assistant coach.
The 18 teams will divided into three brackets with six teams each in order to determine who will advance to the next round.
Joining the Senate in Bracket B are Meralco, TV5, Office of the President, Department of Justice and Metro Manila Development Authority.
Bracket A will be composed of Maynilad, Smart, House of Representatives, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Energy and Natural Resources and Justice League.
North Luzon Expressway, PLDT, Philippine Star, Philippine National Police, Office of the Solicitor General and Department of Public Works and Highways will be under Bracket C.
"We invite all Senate officials and employees to come and support your Senate Advocates on our first game this Sunday," Dascil ended.
Source: Senate of the Philippines