ALL-STAR captains Kai Sotto and Joel Cagulangan went with familiarity as they built their respective teams for the 2019 Chooks-to-Go SM-NBTC All-Star Game.
Bannering Team Hustle, UAAP Season 81 MVP Sotto took UST guard Mark Nonoy, NU playmaker Gerry Abadiano, Ateneo center Geo Chiu, and NU scorer Terrence Fortea as his top selections.
Also part of Team Hustle are Kevin Quiambao of NU, RJ Abarrientos of FEU-Diliman, John Amores of JRU, Jonnel Policarpio of Mapua, Forthsky Padrigao of Ateneo, Bismarck Lina of UST, and Clint Escamis of Mapua.
"Pupunta tayo sa NBTC All-Star Game na lalaban at mananalo," said the 7-foot-2 Sotto, who was once again adjudged as the top-ranked high school player in the country.
Chris Gavina will call the shots for Team Hustle.
For Team Heart, NCAA Season 94 MVP Cagulangan tapped NU slotman Carl Tamayo, banger Inand Fornilos and forward Joshua David of La Salle Green Hills, and Hope Christian star Harvey Pagsanjan for his first picks.
Completing Team Heart are Joem Sabandal of Adamson, Aaron Fermin of Arellano, Paolo Hernandez and Dan Arches of Mapua, Joshua Yerro of UV, Mac Guadana of Lyceum, and Rafael Go of Chiang Kai Shek.
"Maglalaro tayo na may puso sa NBTC All-Star Game," said Cagulangan.
Charles Tiu will serve as the coach for Team Heart.
For the first time in NBTC's 12-year history, the best high school players from the UAAP, NCAA, CESAFI, and MMBL were ranked all year long with the top 24 players rightfully earning their spots in the yearly showpiece, which is sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, and Molten, and are also presented by TV5 Plus and Lighthouse Events.
It was also the first time that the top two-ranked high school players in the country were named as team captains and were responsible for making up their own squads and also picked their respective coaches.
The 2019 Chooks-to-Go SM-NBTC All-Star Game will be on Saturday, March 23, at Mall of Asia Arena.
Team Hustle: Kai Sotto (captain), Mark Nonoy, Gerry Abadiano, Geo Chiu, Terrence Fortea, Kevin Quiambao, RJ Abarrientos, John Amores, Jonnel Policarpio, Forthsky Padrigao, Bismarck Lina, Clint Escamis. Coach: Chris Gavina.
Team Heart: Joel Cagulangan (captain), Carl Tamayo, Inand Fornilos, Joshua David, Harvey Pagsanjan, Joem Sabandal, Aaron Fermin, Paolo Hernandez, Dan Arches, Joshua Yerro, Mac Guadana, Rafael Go. Coach: Charles Tiu.