In line with Next Gen’s platform to spread awareness on BBM’s campaigns towards the youth, Next Gen believes that sports is one of the key drivers for development. Basketball, being the number one sport in the Philippines, was an instinctive decision to include as part of the the Next Gen Sports Clinic, which also includes a volleyball tournament and a surf clinic. This initiative is aligned with BBM’s arts and culture program, and is intended to be a prelude to BBM’s platform of growing their own athletes and starting programs at the grassroot level.
The sports clinic is a part of the youth program and campaign of Next Gen for BBM-Sara, as one of their goals is to focus on youth development. Hoops 4 You7h is a tie up with Got Skills Basketball, a national basketball organization. The league for the campaign season are simple round robin games; the players are aged 25 years old and below, group divisions of 60 teams in Cebu and 60 teams in Bacolod, summing up a total of 120 teams in Region 6 & 7, and 96 teams in NCR.
On April 8, Next Gen for BBM took a trip to Cebu over the weekend for the Next Gen Festival in Carcar, and for the opening of Hoops 4 You7h.
The first game of the season was scheduled on Friday, April 8 at the Cebu City Colosseum. The game was played by an all-star celebrity team for the BBM-Sara team, and the opposing team was the Ako Bisaya team from Cebu Schools Athletic Foundations (CESFAI). Ako Bisaya advocates for platforms for livelihood, education and the youth, a seat representative for CESFAI.
To open the ceremony, Cesar Montano delivered a motivational speech, expressing his words of support for the Uniteam presidential and vice presidential aspirants. On picking his candidates, he communicated his strong faith in the continued ushering of positive changes in their initiatives for the youth, such as their organized sporting leagues, Hoops 4 You7h. Diego Loyzaga, son of Ceasar Montano shared how they hoped this initiative will also help undecided voters in choosing their presidential candidate on May 9.
The excitement was all around as Bendeatha performed his signature beats and chants that invigorated the crowd that cheered along with him. Bendeatha delivered a lively upbeat performance during the intermission between quarter 2 and 3. Filipino actor, Darwin Tolentino aka Hap Rice performed a rendition of popular song, Your Love between quarter 3 and 4 with an excited fan. BBM-Sara team closed the gap 4 minutes into the game, with a lead of 79-78. The riveting final minutes ended with game point scored by Ako Bisaya, finishing the game at 89-91.
The rest of the games in Cebu that weekend continued, despite the downpour, the youth showed their might and prowess in Next Gen’s basketball and volleyball leagues, respectively named Hoops 4 You7h and Spike 4 You7h. For the Region 6 and 7 basketball leagues, a total of 125 teams played against one another to score a spot in the upcoming finals held later this month. The basketball league is opened to males from 18-25. The volleyball league is opened to females and LGBT from 18-25 years old.