The Local Government of Bataraza, Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation opened the Inter-Barangay Basketball Association (IBBA) Cup on June 16, 2017.
The basketball tournament, aimed at engaging the youth in the community through sports, is one of the sports event organized by the companies in Palawan as part of their community development initiatives in fostering a strong relationship with communities particularly in Bgy. Rio Tuba, Bataraza.
JB Baylon, Vice President for Corporate Communications of Nickel Asia Corporation and the executive director of the activity said that basketball event will be a ‘crowd drawer’ because of the Filipinos love for basketball.
“Alam mo naman, we Filipinos are basketball crazies. If this was volleyball, maybe only half of the crowd ang pupunta. But then it’s basketball, kaya maraming tao,” said Baylon.
Baylon added that the two mining companies – RTNMC and CBNC – are planning to launch a women’s volleyball tournament that will engage other municipalities of Palawan.
“We hope to open a women’s volleyball event and maybe move it to other municipalities if there is a budget for it,” said Baylon.
Laurence Amores, Community Relations Supervisor of CBNC, noted that the SDMP of the company is anchored on youth development through scholarship and sports. He noted that CBNC prioritizes the education program and sports is part of it.
“Actually, this is part of our social development program sa youth development. Ang priority talaga namin ay education pero nagplano kami na mag open ng tournament to involve them also in sports,” Amores said.
Through the IBBA Cup, Amores is hoping that that the Palawan Basketball Association (PaBA) can discover players from Palawan who can train and compete in the national leagues.
Coach Joe Lipa of PaBA stressed that “youth involvement in basketball will also help improve social skills, discipline and endurance among the youth.”
“Dito sa gagawin nating IBBA Cup, sana makapaghanap din tayo ng mga bago nating players na makakapaglaro sa Manila,” Lipa said.
The local government of Bataraza is planning to hold the basketball tourney every year as a way of weaning the youth away from illegal drugs.
“Kaya natin ginawa itong IBBA Cup ay dahil rin sa programa ng ating pangulo to fight drugs, lalo na sa south na wala silang pinagkakaabalahan,” said Municipal Councilor Al Ibba.