After a hectic offseason that included the transfer of a franchise that returned to its original name and multiple changes that will have many new faces in new teams, tonight the curtain rises on the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto (LNB) tournament.
The champions Leones de Santo Domingo, who return under the guidance of Ruddy Martínez, and the Titanes del Distrito Nacional, who continue under the orders of José Cabreta, will be in charge of the first match starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Palace of Sports Virgilio Naughty Soto.
The Lions maintain their core of natives led by Juan Guerrero, a basketball benchmark in the yard, they acquired Leandro Cabrera and Jayson Valdez, in addition to repeating the point guard Steven Burtt Jr.
On the side of the Titans, the presence of Nehemías Morillo stands out, acquired from the Metros, and the veteran Manuel Guzmán who will give depth to the front line. Richard Bautista will be the starting point guard and they have the reinforcement of Jordan Williams, a renowned basket player with experience in the league.
At nine o’clock at night, in the Gran Arena Oscar Gobaira, the local Metros de Santiago receive the Marineros de Puerto Plata. Both have new coaches.
The Metros, the most successful franchise in the history of the circuit, entrusts its reins to the experienced and winner David Díaz, winner with the Indians (twice) and the Lions.
The nucleus, with the absence of Víctor Liz, who is serving a day in Puerto Rican basketball, includes talents such as Eloy Vargas -on his way from Argentina-, Adris De León, Oliver García, Brandone Francis, Adris Rodríguez, Miguel Dicent and Saúl Mejía with the support from reinforcements Terry Larrier, Brandon Moss and Cliff Alexander.
The Mariners (former Hurricanes) have the innovation of coach Carlos Morbán who assumes his first experience at such a level.
They acquired Miguel Evangelista and MJ Rhett from the Lions to strengthen the restricted area. Luis Jacobo is one of his canasteros. They also entered Shamil Ballas and Luis Feliz from the Titans for Willy Núñez and Richard Polanco from the Metros for García.
The Cañeros del Este with Tony Ruiz and the Soles de Santo Domingo Este with Julio César Javier repeat their coaches, as do the Reales de La Vega with Junior García. Richard Ortega is the new coach of the San Francisco de Macorís Indians after the separation agreement between them and David Díaz.
The first matches
Titans – Lions, 7 p.m.
Virgilio Naughty Soto (SD)
Mariners-Metros, 9 p.m.
Oscar Gobaira (Santiago)
Royals – Pole, 7 p.m.
Leo Tavarez (Higuey)
Suns – Indians, 9 p.m.
Mario Ortega (SFM)