Prince Ray Alao, Pauline Angelique Valle head 16-member Jr NBA Philippines squad
Sixteen players are picked from the 74 who made it to the national camp after the regional selection. Marlo Cueto

PRINCE Ray Alao of San Beda and Pauline Angelique Valle of Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School captured the Most Valuable Player titles, while 14 others made it to the Jr. NBA Philippines All-Stars

Alao and Valle headline the cagers 12 to 14 years old who comprise the seventh batch of Jr. NBA All-Stars. The Jr. NBA Philippines 2018 National Training Camp presented by Alaska was supervised by Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein and WNBA legend Sherly Swoopes. 

The Jr NBA squad earned a trip to Shanghai where they will be joined by other players from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam for training and to watch the NBA China Games 2018 featuring the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks.

Joining Alao in the boys side are Ethan Rod Aljan of La Salle Greenhills, John Lester Amagan of St. Robert’s International Academy of Iloilo, Seven Gatate of Chiang Kai Shek College, Nathan Jan Jundana of Bacolod Tay Tung High School, Christian Joi Mesias of Jose Maria College of Davao, Kim Aaron Tamay of National University, and Rhon Khaniel Telles of St. Anthony de Carmelli Academy.

Madelyn Flores of Bukidnon National High School, Gin Kayla Huelar of St. La Salle University-Bacolod, Aisha Solis of Corpus Christi School-Cagayan De Oro, Christine Venterez of Baguio City National High School, Marielle Vingno of Escuela de Sohia of Caloocan, Amber Esquivel of De La Salle Zobel, and Kyla Marie Mataga of De La Salle Zobel also made the team.

The 16 players were picked from a group of 74 in the national training camp from the regional selection camps in Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, and Metro Manila, and in the Alaska Power Camp, which were led by Jr. NBA coaches Carlos Barroca and Rob Newson along with Alaska coaches led by Jeffrey Cariaso.

“The Jr. NBA program gives us the opportunity to contribute to our goal of getting more kids to play the game of basketball and help them understand how working hard on their craft can open doors and unlock greater opportunities in life,” Swoopes said.

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“I came here to inspire you but your passion and eagerness to learn inspire me and I’m so grateful for that,” said Cauley-Stein.

Jr. NBA alumnus Thirdy Ravena and Ricci Rivero visited the camp at the Gatorade Hoops Center, while Kai Sotto and Rhayyan Amsali played in the Jr. NBA Alumni All-Star Game at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

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