14 squads vie for title in Cong. Yap basketball

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Fourteen teams officially started their title bid as the Cong. Eric Go Yap Congressional Cup formally tipped off at the Benguet State University gymnasium on September 16.
All eyes will be on the municipality of Bokod with at least five former college varsity and three of them winning a championship in the Baguio – Benguet Educational Athletic League.
Yap will lead the ceremonial jump ball after his inspirational message as Mankayan opens the inaugural inter – municipality basketball tournament against Sablan.
Tournament favorite Bokod meanwhile takes on Kibungan in the second game with Bakun squaring off against Itogon, another tournament favorite, while La Trinidad 1 will face off against Kabayan.
La Trinidad is the only municipality allowed to field two teams with the second team taking on Kapangan in the third game of Sept 17, at the BSU covered court.
Tuba will open their campaign against Buguias in the Sunday opener with Atok taking on Tublay.
La Trinidad 1 meanwhile returns against Sablan and Itogon takes on Kibungan.
“Exciting games awaits all teams,” said commissioner Roderick Osis. “Bokod may be strong on paper but we will be able to gauge how the other teams will perform once competition starts.”
The congressman will be joined by Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas and the 13 town mayors, who practically are team managers of their respective squads.
Close to 280 players will also take their oath of sportsmanship as they embark on the three – month long competitions that will take players to the mining towns of Mankayan in the north and Tuba and Itogon down south and as high as Mount Pulag in Kabayan and the former highest highway in the cloud kissed Atok.
The elimination round is expected to be finished by the first week of November with the top eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals.
The top four teams will enjoy a twice-to-beat edge against the lowest seeded team.
Winners in the quarterfinals advance to the Final Four where the top and lowest seeds face each and the higher seed gets a twice to beat advantage.
The remaining two squads after the semis will square off in a best of three series.
Cash prizes await the champion and consolation prizes to the non-winning teams.
Top performing players in both winning and losing team will receive special prizes while the most valuable player will be named including selection for the mythical five and second team. **MSD PR


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