EXCLUSIVE: Converge’s PBA debut brings excitement among leaders

ANGELES CITY – Converge ICT’s decision to join the PBA had renewed following, if not excitement, on professional basketball as the pure fiber internet provider is about to unveil its team for the next season of the play-for-pay league.

Before its media launch Tuesday, business and local leaders are agog on the participation of Converge, elevating hopes that more Kapampangan aspiring basketball players would eventually become superstars in the professional sports.

No less than Pampanga Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda has expressed hope for transformation of raw talents into athletic gems.

“Masaya tayo (sa pagsali ng Converge sa PBA) kasi ang owner nito ay Kapampangan. Our Kapampangan basketball players have more chances to play in the higher league,” Pineda said in a statement to PNN.

Pineda was tapped by Converge founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy, a long-time resident here, to be a Team Consultant for “player development”. The governor is known to be behind the discovery and rise to basketball fame of Kapampangan PBA superstars Arwind Santos, Calvin Abueva and Ian Sanggalang.

Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo, who is also instrumental in the development of La Salle senior slotman Justine Baltazar since he was 10 years old, also congratulated Uy and Converge. Baltazar , a 6’9” native of Mabalacat City, has also played for Gilas Pilipinas with the help of Pineda. He is touted to be one of the most-sought after amateur players when he turns pro.

“This is monumental not only for Converge but also for every Kapampangan basketball fan who longs to have their resilient and triumphant spirit be embodied in the said professional basketball league,” Garbo said in a text message to PNN.

“Your inclusion in the PBA is surely a big boost not only for your corporate presence but also a source of pride for each Kapampangan across the archipelago,” said Garbo, also chairman of the Metro Clark Advisory Council.

Uy’s fellow investors inside Clark Freeport belonging to the Clark Investors and Locators Association (CILA) have also joined well-wishers for Converge’s PBA team.

“I am glad that a home-grown Angeleño can and had become a part of Asia’s first professional basketball league. It’s truly gratifying to see local boys like Dennis Uy make their mark at the national level,” said CILA Chairman Frankie Villanueva.

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