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Overseas Filipino workers basketball games kick off in Taipei

2018/08/05 23:39:20

The photo shows the R.J.D Basketball League banner and trophies at the competition grounds on Sunday in Taipei's Datong District

Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) The opening ceremony of the R.J.D. Basketball League's overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) games was held in Taipei Sunday with over 30 teams participating.

Teams line up for the opening ceremony on Sunday in Taipei

The ceremony was attended by players, members of Taiwan's Filipino community and officials from the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei.

CIASI basketball team

HJ Bullets basketball team

New Taipei Brothers basketball team

The tournament's spokeswoman, Marie Yang, said the tournament is expected to run until the middle of November, with 31 men's teams and five women's teams competing for the respective titles.

CIASI Taiwan National Chairman Rheden Delumen (front, right) poses with his basketball team

The tournament is to be played in a round robin format followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and then the finals, Yang said.

GTA basketball team muse Rachelle Ollegue (right) and JC Premier basketball team muse Atara Carlos (second right)

During the opening ceremony, "muses" and "escorts" accompanied their respective teams to present themselves in front of a panel of judges who would decide which team's muse or escort was be awarded with the trophy of "Best Muse," "Best Escort" and "Best in Uniform."

Saints basketball team muse Mafe Agad (front, left)

Cardinals basketball team muse Mary Mae J. Puerto (front, right)

When asked about the meaning of the terms, Yang said that each team in the men's division has a "muse" -- someone pretty who represents the team. "It's like a beauty pageant," Yang explained.

Ilocos Noste basketball team muse Ahzhel Manzano Agliam (second right)

Spartan basketball team muse Jane Maravilla (second right)

Teyen NHD basketball team muse Liezel Laxamana (right)

Similarly, an "escort" pageant was held to select the best male representing their respective teams in the women's division.

MBST Bisdak basketball team escort Vincent Tagalog (front, right)

The judges awarded the "Best Escort" trophy to Harold Brutas, 24, "escort" of a team named BOT.

BOT basketball team escort Harold Brutas (center) and Flordelis Tu (second right)

BOT also won the "Best in Uniform" trophy for the best uniform in the women's division, while the Ilongo Brothers All Star basketball team won the trophy in the men's division.

Ilongo Brothers All Star basketball team poses with trophy for "Best in Uniform" with MECO Labor Center Director of Labor Affairs Cesar Chavez Jr.

BOT poses with trophy for "Best in Uniform" with MECO Labor Center Director of Labor Affairs Cesar Chavez Jr. (back row, third right)

One of the distinctive features of BOT's uniform is a fist with a drawing of the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, displayed in the colors of the national flag of the Philippines.

BOT basketball team escort Harold Brutas (left)

When asked about the meaning behind the design, BOT's captain Dean Manalo, who hails from Municipality of Pateros in the region of Metro Manila, said the fist is a symbol for power to eliminate drugs and it also reflects the team's support for Duterte.

BOT basketball team captain Dean Manalo (left)

Meanwhile, the "Best Muse" trophy was given to Michelle Tan, representing a team named MBST Bisdak.

Michelle Tan (third left), MECO Deputy Director Nestor Mayo (second left), Ronald Li (left) and Flordelis Tu (third right)

MBST Bisdak basketball team muse Michelle Tan (third left)

The name of the tournament comes from the first letters of the names of the three organizers of the event, Ronald Li, Jerry Yang and Danilo Sy, who are renowned basketball enthusiasts in Taiwan's Filipino basketball community, Yang pointed out.

The event follows on from a R.J.D. basketball tournament that the trio organized in 2016, which saw participation of 33 teams in the men's division.

(By William Yen)