HENRY Asilum, Kline Aranjuez, and Miguel Competente. These are just some of the names from Davao who have made it to the Philippine Jr. NBA All-Star Team in the last two years.
Asilum is probably the most distinguished among the three, having been a national youth team standout and is now one of the cornerstones of the University of the Philippines Maroons in the UAAP.
As members of the Jr. NBA team, Asylum and his fellow Davaoeños were rewarded with an all-expenses-paid trip abroad to watch a live NBA game and to play goodwill games with their counterpart Jr. NBA teams from other countries.
The next youth cager from Davao to use the Jr. NBA program as a stepping stone and an opportunity to go overseas will be determined in the next few months as the international youth development program tipped off in the country for the third consecutive year, starting in Manila last Saturday.
The country’s version of the event, presented by Alaska, will have stops in Dagupan City (hosted by Community Service Idol), Lucena City (hosted by the Provincial Government of Quezon), and finally in Davao City (hosted by Davao-based Phoenix Petroleum).
After school and coaching clinics have been conducted all over the country, the program, open to kids between 10 and 14 years old, will continue with regional training camps in March and April, which will then determine the top 50 participants who will participate in the Jr. NBA National Training Camp from April 26 to 28.
The top 10 best campers will finally be included in this year’ Jr. NBA All-Star Team.
NBA Asia’s Director of Basketball Operations, Sefu Bernard, will serve as the Jr. NBA coach and oversee the entire program along with local coaches selected by the NBA, and coaches of the Alaska Power Camp, led by PBA Legend Jojo Lastimosa.
Aside from Alaska, which is presenting the event for the third straight year, the event’s partners include Gatorade, Unilever’s flagship brands Rexona and Master as well as new partner Phoenix Petroleum. Returning as Jr. NBA Supporting Partners are KFC and Spalding. Official NBA broadcasters are Basketball TV, NBA Premium TV and Studio 23. Jr. NBA is also supported by the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP).
“Alaska has played a central role in the growth of the Jr. NBA program as they share the NBA’s commitment to the development of both the sport of basketball and the youth of the Philippines,” said Carlo Singson, NBA country manager, Philippines. “Thanks to the support of all our partners, the Jr. NBA program continues to expand and touch the lives of aspiring young players, coaches, educators, and parents.”
“Alaska is committed to developing talent early on and we are pleased to return once again as the presenting partner of this youth-inspiring event,” said Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corporation. “The Jr. NBA is a great fit with Alaska’s mission to nurture talent and promote a healthy lifestyle through sports from an early stage, and we look forward to yet another successful program this year.”
The program is free in all its stages for local coaches and young Filipino kids who want to join the program. Registration is now ongoing through the Jr. NBA event website www.jrnba.com.ph. Fans can also follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jrnbaphilippines. For all things NBA, visit us at www.nba.com or follow on official Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/NBA_Philippines.