The MJAS Zenith Talisay Aquastars bolstered their roster for the first professional basketball league in the south, the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, with three new additions headed by Cebuano guard Dave Moralde.
Moralde, who traces his roots to Tominjao, Daanbantayan where his father hails from, previously played for San Beda and then, the University of the Philippines. He has also played for Muntinlupa in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
Also joining the team is former pro guard Lester Alvarez, who starred at Adamson University before he was selected 15th overall in the 2012 PBA Draft by Barako Bull. He last played in the PBA in 2015, when he suited up for the Star Hotshots. He last played for the Bulacan Kuyas in the MPBL.
Another former pro player who is joining the squad is Jan Jamon. A 6-foot-3 forward, Jamon played in the PBA for the Columbian Dyip from 2017 to 2019.
Michael Aldover, Puma Philippines’ senior manager for sales and marketing operations, said the team is slowly shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with.
“It’s a well-balanced team, balance in terms of positions. And even experience, some mix of rookies and veterans like Paolo (Hubalde), (Patrick) Cabahug, and (Val) Acuna. So maganda yung blend ng team,” said Aldover during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association online Forum on Tuesday.
The MJAS Zenith Talisay City Aquastars is composed of the core of the Valenzuela City Classic squad that competes in the MPBL. But with the league of Manny Pacquiao still trying to finish its stalled Lakan Cup, the team’s management led by team manager Jhon Santos deemed it best to compete in the VisMin Cup to help the players whose livelihoods have been severely hampered by the health crisis.
“Actually yung team namin obvious naman na for MPBL talaga. Pero dahil gusto rin naming matulungan yung mga players, and ito yung opportunity na lumabas itong VisMin Cup, sinali namin yung buong team (Our team was really made for the MPBL but since we really wanted to help the players out, we saw the opportunity to join the VisMin Cup),” said Santos
“Iisipin na lang namin yung pagbalik sa MPBL kapag andiyan na. Pero sa ngayon ang importante sa amin, mabigyan kahit papaano ng income yung mga players na nagtiwala sa amin (We will think about the MPBL once it's there. But for now, what's important is that we would be able to give these players that put their trust in us some sort of financial help),” he added.
The Aquastars will arrive in Cebu on March 16 and will immediately begin their training camp in preparation for the April 9 tip-off of the league in Alcantara. (JNP)