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Players for the ligà lined up.

Ligà (from the English word league) is an annual sporting event held in villages and barangays across the Philippines during the summer months of April and May. Spearheaded by local government councils such as the Liga ng Barangay and the Sangguniang Kabataan, ligàs draw interest from participants as young as 12 and as old as 40 years old. While some ligàs exclusively take entries of teams from within the barangay, some tournaments feature inter-barangay competitions.


Getting a manager

Most teams that join the summer basketball league have managers. A few managers choose a hands-on approach to their team's operations, playing trainer and even coach to their players. Some on the other hand stay on the sidelines during practice and live games, leaving the direction to hired coaches and trainers.

Players usually pick affluent and influential personalities from their village as managers, chiefly because the job calls for funding. These managers shoulder the basketball operations of the team—from jerseys and accessories to the refreshments during a game. Some local businessmen see managing a team as a good marketing strategy to advertise their product or service. Most teams in the inter-barangay competition only have the name of their villages printed on the front of their jerseys, but teams in the other levels have been observed to feature company names, logos, and even color-schemes on their jerseys.

Soliciting funds

Teams are however not required to have managers. Those teams without managers raise funds needed for their basketball operations by doing a village door-to-door fund-raising campaign. This practice, popularly regarded as “solicitation”, is done by giving out “solicitation forms” to homeowners in their barangay. These forms usually come in the form of an enclosed in an envelope labelled on the outside with the team's name. A letter inside indicates the team's fervent wish for a contribution “of any amount”. To give the homeowners a more personal touch, some teams attach the signatures of their entire roster to the letter.




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