Basketball: 2010 MVP Invitational C'ships on Thursday

June 23, 2010 10:21 pm 

By Lily O Ramos

MANILA, June 23 — The 2010 Smart-Philippines Invitational Challenge Lunch reception was launched Wednesday at the Traders Hotel along Roxas Blvd. where the teams of Jordan and Donguan New Century are billeted for the four-day tournament that starts Thursday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The short joust is also known as the 2010 Manny V. Pangilinan Invitational Championships from June 24 to 27

The FIBA World Championship-bound squads of Jordan and China arrived in the wee hours of Wednesday for the event and appeared a little tired and sleepy.

The two teams will join PBA crowd darlings Barangay Ginebra Kings and the current No. 1 ranked Talk 'N' Text, aside from the Smart-Gilas nationals for the pocket competition.

Jordan will parade a world-rated coach in Mario Palma with two naturalized American guard Rasheim Wright, Sam Daghas and Zaid on their way to their first-ever trip to the World Championships in August.

On the other hand, Donguan is being handled by former national Australian coach Brian Goorjan. The team has a 7'3" center who is only 17 years old and another 7'1' youngster.

Both boys are being groomed to become members of the national Chinese squad in the next few years.

The Philippines' Smart-Gilas captained by the popular TV host Chris Tiu has brought in 6'10" American reinforcement Marcus Douthit, has earned much respect internationally despite the Filipinos' height handicap which they makeup with their natural skills and talent and speed.

They are mentored by Serbian Rajko Toroman who aims to bring them to the Olympics if they pass the qualifiers.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chairman Ricky Vargas led the hosts in welcoming the foreign players who are expected to measure what the RP team has accomplished in their several forays abroad in preparation for the SEA Games next, the Guangzhou Asian Games 2010, the World Championships and finally the London Olympics in 2012.

After the opening ceremonies at 12 noon Thursday, PBA's most popular ballclub Ginebra faces Jordan National team while Smart Gilas faces off with Donguan in the main game. Tickets will be sold at P200, P100 and P25 for the bleachers for the purpose of fund-raising for SBP's other projects that includes other sports. (PNA) vcs/LOR

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