EIGHT teams, including seven school-based squads, will take part in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup which is slated to open next week.
NCAA champion Letran and NAASCU titlist St. Clare College headline the cast in the resumption of the developmental league after two years on the shelf due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wangs Basketball-Letran will lean on NCAA MVP Rhenz Abando and veteran guard Fran Yu, while Adalem Construction-St. Clare will bank on NAASCU MVP Johnsherick Estrada.
Five other varsity teams, meanwhile, are out to give the two champions a run for their money with EcoOil-La Salle, featuring Michael Phillips, Evan Nelle, and Mark Nonoy, also among the favorites.
Joining the joust are Builders Warehouse-UST, Apex Fuel-San Sebastian, Centro Escolar University, AMA Online Education, and club team Marinerong Pilipino.
PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro has also sought audience with relevant government offices, meeting with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) sports development and management unit lead Ana Dulce Yango and Dr. Jesucito M. Garcia of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to ensure an orderly staging of the competitions with student-athletes among those participating in the tournament.
Games will be held every Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, and on Thursday and Saturday mornings at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (RL)