THE 2014 Seaoil NBTC League National High School Finals starts with an early clash of title contenders as Chiang Kai Shek College and Hope Christian High battle on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig.
The rematch of the Seaoil-Metro Manila Basketball League finalists is set at 6 p.m.
CKSC, behind Mohammed Salim and Van Pilanga, downed Hope Christian, 82-75, in the championship game at the San Beda gym last month.
“What better way to kick off this event than to have Chiang Kai Shek and Hope Christian meet in a rematch of the MMBL Finals," said Seaoil NBTC national program director Eric Altamirano.
"We're all excited. This is the culmination of all those months of preparation, from the provincial eliminations to the citywide championships. This truly is the national finals and we welcome you all."
Chiang Kai Shek and Hope Christian are joined in Group A by National University-B, while Group B has St. Francis of Assisi-Cavite, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo (Cebu 2) and National U-A.
Group C features West Negros (Bacolod), University of San Carlos (Cebu 1), and Iloilo Central Commercial, while Group D has Sacred Heart of Jesus Montessori (Cagayan de Oro), Assumption College-Davao, Southern City College (Zamboanga).
Teams in each group play a single round elimination with the top two advancing to the quarterfinals.
The opening ceremony of the event, which serves as the official grassroots development program of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and backed by the MVP Sports Foundation, Meralco, Smart, NLEX, Maynilad, Philex, Philippine Star and Molten, starts at 5:30 p.m.
Division II play also opens Thursday at the CCF gym, with Olongapo National meeting Assumption-Pampanga at 12 p.m. and Reedley battling Bethel Baptist-Bukidnon at 2 p.m.