LEMWHEL Calibo, Christian Manaytay, Milo Janao Jr. and Will Gozum shone brightest as 60 of the best high school basketball players in the country took part in the Elite 60 Development Camp held at the Colegio San Agustin Gym in Makati.
Calibo of Saint Benedict International School in Laguna was named the Most Outstanding Player from Luzon, while Manaytay of Sacred Heart School Cebu topped the Visayas participants.
Janao Jr. of Assumption Montessori Cagayan de Oro was given the top award for Minadano participants, while Gozum of Mapua Institute of Technology was NCR’s top player in the Under 18 category of the event designed to identify young talent who may be tapped for future national squads.
The event also had an Under-16 category, with Justine Sanchez of Maliwalo National High School in Tarlac named Luzon Most Outstanding Player, while his Visayas counterpart was Daniel Coo of St. John’s Institute in Bacolod.
Mindanao’s top U16 player in the event was Leonardo Villanueva of Southern City Colleges in Zamboanga, while National University’s Ernest John Felicilda was named top performer among NCR players.
The players were selected from three regional camps held in the Sacred Heart School Cebu, Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro and San Beda College during the summer under former Philippine National Youth Team coach Eric Altamirano.
“The EDC program is designed to give others a chance to be seen when they otherwise will not be noticed. We just have so much talent all over the country. This program will enhance our national teams and provide opportunities and fuel dreams of kids in the provinces,” Altamirano said.
The 60 players trained under coach Rob Beveridge who has coached in his native Australia as well as the Chinese Basketball Association. He also served as consultant during National University’s UAAP basketball championship title run in 2014 and with the Alaska Aces in the Philippine Basketball Association.
“I believe that Filipino basketball players are among the most talented.” said Beveridge.
“Their capacity to learn is incredible. If we can really start them out early with good knowledge of the game this will serve them well as they proceed to the next higher level.”
The other U18 participants were Ralph Obeal and Jhonard Ersando from Cavite, Carlos Nobleza and Patrick Joseph Parabuac from Laguna, Edralene Kenneth Lamsen from Nueva Ecija, Andrew Velasco, Andre Benedict Chua, Joseph Joshua Fuentebella and Alex Visser from Cebu, Duff Ross Galas from Cagayan de Oro, Concord Paul Ramas Jr. from Pagadian, BJ Sumugat from Davao, Franz Diaz from Iloilo, Rommel Jan Pampag from Kidapawan, and Harvey Pagsanjan, Jerome Nepomuceno, Daniel Geronimo, Clint Escamis, Rommel Junsay, Joshua Ramirez, JM Lagumen, Joshua Tagala, Lian Barbero, Rhon Jay Abarrientos, Miguel Oczon and Kenji Roman from Manila.
The other U16 players in the grassroots program of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas with support from the MVP Sports Foundation were Ralph Angelo Panlilio from Pangasinan, Justine Biag, Cris Lawrence Castañeda and Muro Ami Fermin from Tarlac, Cyrian Boniao and Kent Gelogo from Cagayan de Oro, Rey Tristan Fuentes, Christian Rafael Manulat, Leobert Casinillo, Anskie Espina, Lowell Chan, Michael Jhaye Jordan and John Edward Aguilar from Cebu, and Darren Sytin, Joaquin Jaymalin, Jonas Salandanan, Miguel Sahali, Gabriel Reyes, Jorick Kyle Bautista, King Balaga, King Vinoya, Lloyd Oliva and Jessie Arciaga from Manila.