Pacquiao leads MPBL selection vs Dubai All Stars

Dubai–Imus Khaleb Shawarma aims to revive its waning campaign in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season when it tangles with Batangas Tanduay in the second playdate of the MPBL Dubai Invasion on Saturday at the Hamdan Sports Complex here.

Reeling from five straight defeats that pulled them down to a 3-11 record, the Imus Bandera are hoping the fatigue factor will catch up on the Batangas Athletics, who played against the Davao Occidental Tigers on Friday, in their game set to start at 8:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Sunday, Philippine time).

Despite their poor performance in the ongoing elimination round, where they at 13th spot among 15 teams in the South division, the Bandera got the invitation from event organizer DJMC because they have a strong fan base owing to the presence of actor Gerald Anderson, a pesky and scrappy player, in their roster.

Also with Imus is former PBA MVP Jayjay Helterbrand, fifth among assists leaders with an average of 6.7 and third in playing time with an average of 31.9 minutes.

Other key players for the Bandera are Jay-ar Ng Sang, Khasim Mirza, Jeric Nacpil and Ralph Deles.

The Batangas-Imus tussle will be preceded by an exhibition game featuring Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the MPBL founder and CEO, against officials against the Dubai DJMC All Stars at 6 p.m.

Pacquiao will be joined by his brother, Party-list Representative Bobby, MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, Deputy Commissioner Zaldy Realubit, Operations Head Emmer Oreta, Chief of Security Rudy Distrito, Satar Macantal, TV panelists Christian Luanzon, Martin Antonio and Cedelf Tupas, David Sisson, Gene Alabanza, Rob Wainwright, Matt Makalintal and Seth Jamora.

Tickets for the two-day basketball extravaganza are enjoying brisk sales and DJMC Events expect a sellout for the 31-team MPBL’s first international foray.