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Jr NBA and Jr WNBA Presented by Alaska Completes its All Stars at the National Training Camp

Posted by on 26. April 2016

The All Stars – Photo by Jamil Buergo

 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA presented by Alaska is done with this year’s search for their All Star Team with 10 boys and 5 girls making the team.  This was a culmination of months of selection camps with thousands of players joining the camp. #JrNBAph #JrWNBAph #Alaska #PlayPH

Jr. NBA Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska

6 foot 9 inches Kai Sotto stands tallest after being named the MVP of the All Star selection for the Boys. – Photo from PlayPH

For someone who grew up fanatically following basketball in the country, watching the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA National Training Camp was more than just watching a game.  It was seeing the future of the sports.  Every time 6-9 stand out Kai Sotto would be battling for position with a defense-minded center in Miguel Tan,  it was watching a rivalry which will go on for the next decades.   I also saw a lot of potential court generals who have excellent instincts and on-court vision. There were also creative slashers who found ways to score points or make a good dish to a team mate. The future is bright for Philippine basketball.  These guys were 14 years old and below and have a whole world of potential in them.

Kai Sotto vs. Miguel Tan – This is gonna be a rivalry for ages. – Photo by Jamil Buergo

It’s been months of searching for the best of  the best at this age group starting with the tip off last January 23 at Don Bosco Institute in Makati.  The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska started its search for the best basketball players in the country through Regional Selection Camp that was held in Baguio, Davao, Cebu and Don Bosco Institute in Makati.  They also conducted school clinics that teach the fundamentals of basketballs with stops in Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan De Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa, Batangas, Catanduanes and  Cavite.

The young girls playing their heart out to earn that all star slots

The program would select the ten best boys and five best girls to become Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All Stars. The All Star team will travel overseas for the NBA experience trip together with fellow All Stars from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.  The 2015 Jr. All Stars traveled to China to watch the NBA Global Games in Shenzen featuring the Charlotte Hornets and the LA Clippers.

The future is bright for Philippine Basketball – Photo from PlayPH

The top 50 boys and 24 girls from the regional selection camps advanced to the final selection stage at the national training camp.  The list was further trimmed down on the second day of the camp before selecting the 10 boys and 5 girls making up the All Stars.  NBA and WNBA Legends Norris Cole of New Orleans Pelicans and Taj McWillians, formerly of the Minnesota Lynx attended the National Training Camp.

Warming up for the final game of the Training Camp. – Photo by Jamil Buergo

The remaining participants were grouped into two teams each for the boys and girls.  They had a final game to showcase their skills and talents.  Though the score won’t be a factor in the selection, everybody played their hearts out to show case their skills, will and talent to the coaches and the people around the Music Hall at SM Mall of Asia.  It was a long journey for the participants and everybody was a winner but the all star team had to be selected.

Kai Sotto and Jil Talas were the MVP of the Season – Photo by Jamil Buergo

Here are the All Stars:

Girls:

  • Darlene Regasajo of Cebu
  • Florence Jil Talas of Cebu – MVP
  • Ma Cecilia Quilenderino of Manila
  • Rozie Amatong of Davao
  • Aloha Marie Betanio of Davao

Boys:

  • Julian Alfonso Jugo of Powercamp
  • Fritz Felix Valencia of Cebu
  • Harold Alarcon of Cebu
  • Isiah Miguel Blanco of Powercamp
  • Ric Ozner Gatus of Baguio
  • Andrei Philip Lechoncito of Manila
  • Tracy Carl Dadang of Cebu
  • Jearico Nunez of Manila
  • Miguel Rey Luis Tan of Manila
  • Kai Zachary Sotto of Manila – MVP

WNBA’s Taj McWilliams and NBA’s Norris Cole joined the aspirants in the National Training Camp. – Photo by Jamil Buergo

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA is the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls which teaches the fundamental skills as well as core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.  More than 36,000 players and 2,700 coaches have participated in the program since it started in the Philippines in 2007. Durng the 2015-16 season, the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA program will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 32 countries.

Photo by Jamil Buergo

It’s also important to acknowledge the presenting partner in Alaska with their contribution on the grassroots development of the sports.  The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska is one of the Alaska Milk’s program that shape, train, challenge and inspire children to achieve their dreams and aspiration in life.  Alaska Milk trains them to be disciplined and hardworking to prepare them to be winners in the future.  Through it’s partnership with the NBA, Alaska also boost their Nutrition Action Champion program.  It helps address the issue of overweight and undernourished Filipino children with the promotion of proper nutrition and active lifestyle through sports and outdoor play.

Photo from PlayPH

It’s another year of the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA presented by Alaska. Stay tuned next year for the 10th year of the program.  For general information about Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines, please visit www.jrnba.asia/philippines, www.alaskamilk.com, and www.alaskapowercamp.com/basketball.  For live update log on to www.alaskaplayph.com and follow them on FB, IG and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.

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