EVAN Nelle of San Beda, Encho Serrano of Adamson, and Ateneo pair Kai Sotto and Dave Ildefonso lead the 30 high school players who will play in the SM-National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) Division 1 High School All-Star Game to be played March 16 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Nelle, the Red Cup who won last year’s All-Star MVP, returns to play for the North Stars where he will be joined by Serrano, who emerged as one of the top players in the UAAP juniors tournament in Season 79.
Joining Nelle and Serrano in the North All-Stars is Blue Eaglets tower Sotto, who made a big impression in the last UAAP season when he was named the Rookie of the Year.
Sotto’s Ateneo teammate Ildefonso will also play for a star-studded North team after being part of the Mythical Five in UAAP Season 79.
Other players who will compete in the North squad are UAAP Season 79 MVP Juan Gomez De Liano of University of the Philippines Integrated System, NCAA Season 92 MVP Troy Mallillin of La Salle Greenhills, Jonas Tibayan of Chiang Kai Shek College, Guilmer Dela Torre of Arellano, Unique Naboa of La Salle Greenhills, Harvey Pagsanjan of Hope Christian High School, John Lloyd Clemente of National University, Germy Mahinay of San Beda, and Aaron Fermin of Arellano.
Comprising the South team are UAAP Mythical Five member SJ Belangel of Ateneo, Romuel Junsay of Mapua, Andrew Velasco of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, John Galinato of Chiang Kai Shek College, Maui Cruz of Emilio Aguinaldo College, Lars Sunga of Arellano, Miguel Oczon of Chiang Kai Shek College, Jan Cork Cabahug of University of Visayas, Erlan Umpad of Lyceum, Sherwin Concepcion of Mapua, Karl Penano of National University, Rhayyan Amsali of National University, and Samuel Abu Hijleh of San Beda.
Four Fil-foreign players who will also be included in the line-up which will come from the four foreign teams that will also see action in the National High School Championship set to take place from March 13 to 16 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
PBA champion Jong Uichico will mentor the North All-Stars, while Josh Reyes will coach the South All-Stars.
The 26 local-based high school players came from a two-day tryouts held last February 25 to 26 at the San Beda gym where tournament organizers Eric Altamirano and Alex Compton, and tournament director Ato Badolato selected the All-Stars.
A Division 2 All-Star Game will also take place on March 15 featuring provincial squads that made it to the SM-NBTC Division 2 Championships.