EVEN with their recent legal battle, organizers of the Z League Intercollegiate competition assured that the ongoing tournament will push through.
According to organizers, the league is committed to continuing and even expanding the intercollegiate basketball competition with teams from La Union, Ilocos Sur, Tarlac, and as far as Pampanga being eyed to join the home and away format tournament next season.
As of this writing, 12 collegiate squads are battling it out in the inaugural single round-robin competition which tipped off July 29.
Currently seeing action in the tournament are the University of Baguio, University of the Cordilleras, Saint Louis University, the Philippine Military Academy, Baguio Central University, Baguio College of Technology, and the Benguet schools of Cordillera Career Development College, and Benguet State University.
The Pangasinan schools are the University of Luzon; R-1 CHESAA 2023 champion, Lyceum Northwestern University in Dagupan; the Calasiao-based Philippine College of Science and Technology; and the latest entry, the WCC Aeronautical and Technological College in Binalonan town.
Complaints were earlier lodged at the National Bureau of Investigation – Cordillera against Team Z operators, including account managers of the alleged casino junket scam tagged to have carted away at least P4 billion worth of investments from this city alone.
One complainant told NBI investigators that Team Z ring leaders, whose identities were withheld pending the probe, duped them into believing that they would continue receiving their five percent monthly return on investment and two percent more for those who convinced others to invest in the casino junket financing scheme meant for a popular casino in Parañaque City.
Meanwhile, Nicasio Aliping, the lawyer for Team Z, said Team Z is committed to answering all allegations in the proper forum.
With the recent development, several athletic directors from different colleges and universities have raised doubt on the league’s capability of continuing the competition.
But organizers assured participants the tournament will continue and planning for the second season is underway.
As of this writing, the Golden Tigers of UL are currently atop the team standings and still undefeated after five games with UB Cardinals (5-1) in second, while two-time BBEAL champion CCDC Admirals (4-1) is in third.
LNU Dukes meanwhile tot a 3-0 record as 5-time BBEAL champion UC Jaguars has a 3-2 win-loss record.
WCC Skyhawks on the other hand is at 2-2 with PhilCST Topnotch having a 2-3 card while SLU Navigators have a 2-4 record.
BCT Atoms meanwhile has won two out of seven games as BSU Wildcats and BCU Eagles have yet to win with 0-4 and 0-6 records, respectively.
The PMA Cavaliers have yet to play a single game in the tournament.