Sotto, Cagulangan, Cansino, Gozum lead top young cagers set for 2018 Slam Rising Stars Classic
These are some of the top high school cagers ready to show their skills in the 2018 Slam Rising Stars Classic. Reuben Terrado

THE SLAM Rising Stars Classic 2018 is set to take place on March 18 at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City.

Finals MVPs Kai Sotto of Ateneo and Joel Cagulangan of La Salle Greenhills will lead Team Punks against Team Hype that will have UAAP and NCAA MVPs CJ Cansino of University of Santo Tomas and Will Gozum of Mapua in the annual All-Star game.

“Masayang masaya ako na napunta ako dito,” said Cansino during a press conference on Saturday at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Pasig City. “Last year, pinapangarap ko lang ito. Naghihintay lang ako last year.”

Joining Sotto at Team Punk are Evan Nelle of San Beda, Clint Escamis of Mapua, Jason Celis of Chiang Kai Shek College, Dave Ildefonso of Ateneo, Rhayyan Amsali of National University, Aaron Fermin of Arellano, Warren Bonifacio of Mapua, RJ Abarrientos of Far Eastern University, Vincent Cunanan of Lyceum, and Joem Sabandal of Adamson.

Cansino and Gozum, meanwhile, will team up with Team Hype along with Inand Fornilos of La Salle Greenhills, Joaqui Manuel of Ateneo, Raven Cortez of La Salle Greenhills, Jason Credo of Ateneo, Neil Tolentino of Letran, Harvey Pagsanjan of Hope Christian High School, Terrence Fortea of NU, L-Jay Gonzales of FEU, John Galinato of Chiang Kai Shek College, and Mac Guadana of LPU.

Juan Gomez De Liano of University of the Philippines captured the Most Valuable Player of last year’s All-Star game after Team Hype beat Team Punks, 89-83.

Cansino said he is looking forward to playing with Gozum and the rest of the NCAA players as teammates.

“Competitive sila. Gusto ko ma-feel kung paano sila maglaro,” said Cansino.

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