Filipino dribblers battle Indian ballers

In what is perhaps a first ever India-Philippines joint sports venture in the UAE, top expat basketball players will meet in an exhibition match on Friday (today) as the DCBL (Dubai Community Basketball League) All Stars face Blue Rhine Eagles in a charity game at the Zayed Bin Sultan Boy’s School gym in Satwa, Dubai.

By Moni Mathews

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 16 Aug 2013, 11:42 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:50 PM

The game is scheduled for a first jump ball tap at 6pm, at the complex located in Satwa junction.

The Khaleej Times had reported about the plans by the DCBL for the ‘Big Game’ at the beginning of the summer holidays in July this year.

DCBL governor Rante Bautista, organiser of the event, in a pre-match announcement on Wednesday evening, said: “This friendly match is not just about promoting camaraderie between Filipino and Indian expats, this is also a fund-raising activity for our kababayan (countryman) Larry Castro, who needs financial assistance for his bone-marrow transplant.”

Members of the Philippine expat team were selected from the 27 teams which participated in the recent DCBL-Ramadan League.

Blue Rhine Eagles are the 2012-13 Indian Basketball Society League runners-up. They were the only IBS side who said a ‘yes’ when this opportunity came up, though a couple of their leading players are still away on leave. The chances of fielding the first choice IBS champs side or a possible IBS All-Stars side were ruled out due to the non-availability of players during the summer season when the initiator of the event, Angel Tesorero, a communications professional, sports writer and promoter contacted them.

Sunil Mathew, the Blue Rhine Eagles coach and power forward, while speaking to Tesorero, underlined the importance of playing with other expat communities: “We feel that we belong to a larger community when we play with other expats. We develop better camaraderie with them and we break the boundaries of our nationalities. We just play and have fun, regardless of our religion or lifestyle.”

The DCBl squad will have Rommel de Padua, Ron Sanchez, Paul Buenafe, Peter Buenafe, Kent Lamique, Butchoy Dalumpines, Tong Maniego, Barranco, Jojo Roque, Rechil Falcon, Wilbert Sayson, Romel Caberte, Philip Ryan Neri Moradas, Jason Gonzales, Ruzzell Tamayo, Dominic Ceniza, and Eric delos Santos to perform in front of what should be a packed hall tonight.

Jazzville coach Roland Crisostomo will be the head of the DCBL-All Stars and he will be assisted by Marvin Malang of Emirates Forklifts and Bobet Kilates of FaceNBook Boosters.

Blue Rhine Eagles, a regular top five outfit in the nine-year old IBS league, was formed in 2010 by a group of college friends who love basketball.

Mathew added: “We are a very good team. We have exceptional individual talents and we play cohesively as a team.”

The Indian expat team is bannered by IBS’ most valuable player Kevin Varghese; best defensive player Sajeev S Kammath; rookie Abimanyou Dabbas; and IBS top scorer Usman Kunda.

The other members of the team who will face the DCBL-All Stars are small forward Vishal; power forwards Sean and Murtuza; centre Shyam; and point guards Madhu and Charles.

The Blue Rhine Eagles players who will miss the match are Menon, Kammath, Dabbas, Jinu and Mahrooz.

More news from