In just its second season, Ballout Hoops had already caught the fancy of big-time basketball leagues and it is now bracing for bigger, better things to come.
Season 2 will start on 21 January and Ballout has made a buzz recently from getting the solid backing of Cocogen to the unveiling of its new face to securing the support of one of the biggest basketball leagues that takes national pride.
Yes, Ballout is ready to roll out its second tournament in a span of less than a year, attracting new teams and big names in the industry.
Cocogen, a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation, is now the main presenter of the event and Ballout couldn’t feel more secure with one of the most bankable insurance companies in the country backing it up all the way.
One of the biggest inclusions in its growing family is celebrity cager Gerald Anderson, who will serve as the new face of the league.
Anderson, who previously played for various teams in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, will play for KalosPh Sportswear-Th3rd Floor.
A solid baller himself, Anderson was an MPBL All-Star while playing for the Marikina Shoemasters four years ago and even led the league in steals for one season.
He also saw action for the Imus Bandera, the Gen San Warriors and his latest squad, the Boracay Islanders.
Anderson isn’t the only key addition in the Ballout personnel as the league also shored up its front office by tapping the services of former Philippine Basketball Association player Ronald Magtulis.
A member of the champion team of Far Eastern University in the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines in 1997, Magtulis brought his act with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in 2000, where he played for three years before moving on to Purefoods and wrapping up his career for Coca-Cola.
Aside from Anderson and KalosPh, also seeing action are mainstay school-based members squads AMA University and University of Makati, Philippine Navy Sealions-Go For Gold, Antipolo City, Xentro Mall Golden Collers, M7 RPBY East Dental Clinic, Marikina Shoemasters, Game Changer Novaliches and Pampanga Royce.
Ballout president Cris Bautista expects a better turnout this season as competition gets tougher.
Without defending champion San Mateo, a new champion will be crowned and last year’s runner-up AMA and heavy contender UMak are expected to step up in high gear.
It turned out to be anybody’s game, Bautista predicted, but it’s going to be a lot more exciting with new squads joining and the folks of Marikina, a basketball hotbed city in the metropolis, couldn’t wait to see the teams in action.
But there’s more.
Anytime this year, a bigger league is tying up with Ballout Hoops and planning to use the league as breeding ground of future stars.
A developmental league in a pro tourney? Why not?
After all, that’s what Ballout is all about — and a big announcement will be made anytime soon.