THIRTY of the best high school players in the country show off their skills when the Seaoil National Basketball Training Center holds its second All-Star Game on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
NBTC training director Alex Compton said that aside from presenting an exciting game to basketball fans, the event gives coaches of top college squads sort of a preview of the future of college ball as they feature 22 top high school players from Metro Manila and eight from the provinces.
“We want to give these young men exposure and be seen by top coaches in the UAAP and the NCAA,” said Compton in Wednesday’s press conference at Shakey’s Malate.
The players include reigning two-time UAAP MVP Jerie Pingoy, one-time NCAA MVP Rey Nambatac, along with Andre Paras, Robert Bolick, and Mario Bonleon of La Salle Greenhills, Raphael Atangan, Reggie Morido, Levi Dela Cruz, and Ralph Busa of National University, and Edralin Villanueva and Clint Doliguez of Hope Christian High School.
Also set to see action are Jeson Delfinado and Roger Domingo of FEU, Axel Inigo of San Beda, Bong Quinto of Letran, Kimlee Bayquin, Carlo Young, and Wilson Bartolome of Chiang Kai Shek, Alwin Margallo of Adamson, Jon Macasaet of San Sebastian, and Jeric Diego of Mapua.
The players from the provinces are Andres Desederio of University of Visayas, Arc Gabriel Araw-Araw of Sacred Heart-Ateneo de Cebu, Kraniel Villoria of West Negros University, Jefher John Egan of St. Mary’s School, Ricky Peromingan of Bukidnon Faith Christian School, Jeric Adorio of Sun Yat Sen-Iloilo, Yozi Manguilimotan of Emar Learning Center-Davao and Raymond Andico of Southern City College-Zamboanga.
The All-Star game is patterned after the annual McDonald’s All-American game which features the best high school players in the United States.
The 30 players will also have the opportunity to practice under the supervision of former national coach and Meralco Bolts consultant Jong Uichico on Saturday.
The weekend is a culmination of a basketball program that began six months ago and extended to the provinces.
“We are not only showcasing talent but also mabigyan ng opportunity ’yung mga taga-probinsya,” said NBTC program director Eric Altamirano. “We made sure na kung ano training sa Manila, ’yun din sa probinsya.”
“Lumalapit na ang skills ng mga taga-probinsya. And I think it’s good not only for college basketball but also the pros because eventually, they are the ones who will benefit,” said Altamirano.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios said the NBTC is one of the recognized grassroots development programs of the national sports association.