Joel Cagulangan chosen top pick over Kai Sotto for NBTC All-Star game
Joel Cagulangan was the first overall pick and will battle a Kai Sotto-led squad in the NBTC All-Star Game. Jaime Campos / Marlo Cueto

JOEL Cagulangan of La Salle Greenhills and Kai Sotto of Ateneo headlined the top picks of the two teams for the NBTC-Darlington High School All-Star Game presented by Chooks To Go on March 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Cagulangan was picked first overall by the team to be coached by Chris Gavina and assisted by LSGH coach Marvin Bienvenida, who was the one who made the picks during proceedings held on Thursday in Pasig City.

Sotto, meanwhile, was chosen by the team of Topex Robinson with Ateneo coach Joe Silva as assistant coach also selecting his player from the Blue Eaglets to join his team.

Joining Cagulangan in Gavina’s team are Aaron Fermin of Arellano, L-Jay Gonzales of Far Eastern University, Dave Ildefonso of Ateneo, John Galinato of Chiang Kai Shek College, Clint Escamis of Mapua, Inand Fornilos of LSGH, Evan Nelle of San Beda, Raven Cortez of De La Salle-Zobel, Beirn Laurente of University of Visayas, and Joshua Yerro of UV.

Sotto, meanwhile, will be part of Robinson’s team along with Will Gozum of Mapua, SJ Belangel of Ateneo, RJ Abarrientos of FEU, CJ Cansino of University of Santo Tomas, Rhayyan Amsali of National University, Terrence Fortea of NU, Miguel Oczon of NU, Harvey Pagsanjan of Hope Christian High School, Joem Sabandal of Adamson, Alex Visser of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, and Mac Guadana of Lyceum.

Bienvenida likes the versatility of his team.

“Mostly, my backcourt can play multiple positions. Their roles varies this time, may it be go get ready to shoot, get the ball down. They are versatile. Bottomline, they are fast, they defend well on the perimeter and we have good anchors in our big man,” said Bienvenida.

Bienvenida also believes Fermin as well as his other big men can challenge Sotto.

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“I think Kai has not yet played against Aaron Fermin or Warren Bonifacio,” said Bienvenida.

For his part, Silva also believes his players can do it all on both ends of the court.

“It’s a mixture of defense and offense and I stuck with defense first kaya ganyan ‘yung pick. In the end, nakakuha naman ako ng offensive players,” said Silva.

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