The Blue Eagles’ high school team is now part of the 24 teams in the tournament after San Beda begged off from the competition.
Kristian Porter and Lebron Nieto will lead the Ateneo squad coached by Reggie Varilla as they look to put on a good showing after placing fifth in the UAAP Season 85 high school tournament.
“This will be a good learning experience for us,” said Varilla.
Reigning two-time defending champion Nazareth School of National University is among the Metro Manila-based squads that made it to the NBTC along with fellow UAAP team UST, and NCAA squad Mapua in the grassroots tournament presented by Smart, SM, Strong Realty and Development, Under Armour, and Molten.
All 24 teams will compete in the Super 24 on March 15 with the winners advancing to Division 1, and the others to be classified in Division 2. A group stage phase ensues on March 16 and 17 with the top teams in each group advancing to the knockout rounds en route to the March 19 championship game.
All games will be shown via livestream on Facebook on the NBTC, Smart Sports, and Puso Pilipinas pages.
The tournament is also supported by Tecno, Regent, Rebisco, Jollibee, San Miguel Foundation, Maynilad, Rebel Sports Pilipinas, MNL Kingpin, Gatorade, Swish App, Victory Liner, Jasper Jean, Darlington, Exped, Coach E Basketball School, Lighthouse Events, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.