THE Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) recently held games in the home turf of its founder, boxing icon Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao.
Through OKBet, a local gaming platform, MPBL games were held in General Santos City and Sarangani, jam-packed with basketball fans rooting for their home team.
To show their support, former senator Pacquiao and General Santos Mayor Lorelie Geronimo-Pacquiao carried out the ceremonial opening toss of the game between host GenSan and Bacolod on September 5 at the Lagao Gymnasium to jumpstart the “OKBet Goes to GenSan and Sarangani” series.
The games are part of the sportsbook's nationwide campaign to promote the MPBL while celebrating the cultural identities of different provinces.
The first part of the event was held on September 5-6 at the Lagao Gymnasium which coincided with General Santos City's Tuna Festival celebration. Among the teams that saw action were the Bacoor City Strikers, Quezon City MG Cars, Bacolod Bingo Plus, and the home team GenSan Warriors OKBet.
After a two-day break, MPBL action continued at the Sarangani Provincial Capitol Gymnasium in Alabel, Sarangani on September 9-10 featuring teams from Bacolod, Quezon City, Muntinlupa and host Sarangani Marlins OKBet.
On September 5, Bacoor City dominated Quezon City, 96-77, while GenSan scored a crucial 76-73 victory over fellow South Division team Bacolod.
On September 6, Bacolod thrashed Quezon City, 79-64, and GenSan eked out another close win against Bacoor, 75-74.
On September 9, Bacolod bagged another win against Muntinlupa, 93-83, and Sarangani outplayed Sarangani, 90-67.
On September 10, Quezon City finally nailed a much-needed triumph over Muntinlupa, 79-77, even as Sarangani bowed to the visiting Bacolod quintet, 74-89.
Going beyond sports entertainment, OKBet continued its string of corporate social responsibility initiatives during the two-day period between matches.
The company donated 10 wheelchairs to the city government of GenSan, in support of the LGU's inclusivity program for persons with disabilities. The turnover ceremony was held on September 7 at the General Santos City Hall with City Councilor Orlando Acharon representing Geronimo-Pacquiao.
OKBet also organized a youth basketball clinic at the Sarangani Provincial Capitol Gymnasium led by Sarangani head coach John Kallos.
Sarangani is currently in fifth place in the team standings with a 13-5 record. GenSan is seventh with a 12-5 card.
Leading the 22-team tournament is Nueva Ecija which remains unbeaten in 18 games followed by Batangas City at 16-2.