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14 teams start bid for Cong. Eric Yap basketball Cup

IT BEGINS. The Cong. Eric Yap Basketball Cup begins Saturday, September 16, with Cong. Eric Yap delivering the ceremonial toss. Four games or eight teams will debut in the first day of games at the BSU gym, while six of the other teams will be in the mix in the five match ups in the Sunday games. Here the teams listen to commissioner Roderick Osis accommodate questions on the house rules during the orientation at the BSU gym late August. PML
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – It is all set as 14 teams from the 13 municipalities troop to the Benguet State University here this Saturday for the three month, single round robin Cong. Eric Go Yap Basketball Cup.
After the tip-off by Cong. Eric Yap that will conclude the opening rites where the muses from each team will have their “walk of fame”, games officially start with the northernmost town of Mankayan facing the fruit capital of the province, Sablan.
Then it would be the debut of the three early favorites, Bokod up against Kibungan, Itogon facing Bakun and La Trinidad’s first team meeting Kabayan in a four game opener.
On Sunday, at the BSU covered court, the six other teams will also make their debut with the young Tuba, composed of high school students, going up against Buguias, followed by Atok – Tublay match and the other young squad in the tournament, La Trinidad B ushering its bid against Kapangan.
Favored La Trinidad 1 then hopes to make it two for the weekend when it goes up against Sablan, a similar hope for Itogon which will face Kibungan in the final game for the opening weekend.
“Exciting games await all teams,” said league commissioner Roderick Osis.
He added: “Bokod (is) may be the strongest team on paper but we will be able to gauge how the other teams will perform once competition starts.”
The congressman will be joined by Gov. Melchor Diclas and the 13 municpalities, who are practically the team managers of their respective squad or squads in the case of La Trinidad mayor Romeo Salda.
The elimination round is expected to be finished by the first week of November as the close to 280 players from the 13 teams “trek” around the mountainous terrain of the province to the gold mines of Mankayan in the north and that of the south, Tuba and Itogon to the former highest highway system in cloud kissed Atok.
The top eight teams after the elimination round advance to the quarterfinals where the first ranked team facing the eight seed, the second opposite the seventh ranked and so on, with the top four seeds enjoying the twice to beat advantage.
The winners advance to the semifinals in another twice to beat advantage for the top two teams, where the higher seed facing the lowest ranked squad.
The winners go to the best of three finals where the winner gets a hefty sum as cash prize from the congressman as well as the “Cong. Yap Cup”. All of the teams will receive consolation prizes.
In every game of the Congressional Cup, the top performing players from both the winning and losing teams and get special prizes. The best player from the champion team will get the most valuable player award, while a Benguet All Star team will be selected – the mythical five and second team.
Bokod and former University of the Cordilleras big man June Rey Buenaventura is expected to deliver the oath of sportsmanship, while two members of the Benguet Dancesport team, the tandem of Mico Dumilos and Mary Luz It-itan, the 21 under national champions, will be performing. Pigeon Lobien

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