THE 24 aspirants in Nike’s first-ever reality documentary basketball development program was bared on Monday night as they begin rigorous training regimen to reach their full potential.
The players, mostly in their teens, have a six-week training under former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes and longtime national player and now Talk ‘N Text team manager Jimmy Alapag.
The 24 aspirants selected from several tryouts across the country have been training since July 15 with drills and strength and conditioning workouts to be chronicled by TV5 starting this month.
Out of the 24, a final 12 will be chosen to comprise the Rise Team.
The 24 players are Algin Andaya of Navotas, Steven Art Andres of Pandacan, Jharrel Beltran of Ifugao, Julius Binarao of Olongapo, Jude Bulan of Cebu, Kristine Cayabyab of Dagupan, Kenric Cilot of Muntinlupa, Danilo Contado of Cebu, Joseph Corpuz of Davao, Nelson Deocera of Pampanga, Rossini Briana Espinas of Davao, John Paul Fernandez of Manila, Dean Fudotan of Laguna, Paul Reginald Jackson of Olongapo, Ren Kenneth Manuel of Novaliches, Jair Borne Marabe of Tacloban, Christopher Perez of Olongapo, Michael Angelo Pingol of Cavite, Kherlie Pino of Cebu, Michael Teves of Cebu, John Lester Tobilla of Leyte, Norman Torbeles of Manila, John Lennon Villanueva of Manila, and Roland Patrick Vinasoy of Makati.
On Monday, the players got a treat when they were joined by no less than Indiana Pacers star Paul George, who is in the country specifically to be part of the undertaking.
Nike country marketing manager Patrick Reyes said the company is glad to help the players reach their dreams of making it to the next level.
“There is no lack of basketball talent in the Philippines. But there may be a lack of opportunity. Every basketball player wants to reach new heights in his game so he can bring his game out there and reach his or her basketball dream.
“Nike wants to help them get out of their comfort zone so they can make that next step that will make them rise to the top of their game. By providing them with a professionally run basketball program and product innovations to support them, they can hopefully make their dreams come true,” Reyes added.