TWENTY-FOUR high school and club teams both from the Philippines and overseas will compete in the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals to be held from March 15 to 19 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Two Final Four teams from the UAAP and NCAA, eight international squads from the NBTC Global Games, and 12 teams from local qualifying tournaments (LQTs) that now includes club teams make up the cast in the competition’s return from a three-year lull due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Search for new talents
NBTC program director Eric Altamirano said the competition, like in previous editions, will hope to develop new talents from the high school division.
“It has always been our mission to put the spotlight on the grassroots level of Philippine basketball and after 13 years, that remains the same. We firmly believe that investing in the future now can only set us up for a brighter tomorrow,” said Altamirano during a press conference at the Premier Café on Thursday.
All 24 teams will play in a knockout game to determine the 12 teams in Division 1 and 2. Each division will have four groups with the top team in each of the groups advancing to the knockout semifinals before a champion is named.
Aside from the high school competition for boys, NBTC will also have its first ever girls tournament called Smart-NBTC Girls Have Next to be held from March 15 to 17 at the Pretty Huge in Taguig with the championship to be held on March 19 at the Mall of Asia Arena.