24 young cagers get nod to join Jr NBA/Jr WNBA National Training Camp

24 of the 1,114 young basketball players make the grade and will compete with other Regional Selection Campers at the NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 presented by Alaska National Training Camp on April 22-24. (Photo by Jamil Buergo)

With a record-setting Regional Selection Camp attendance, sixteen boys and eight girls stood out over in the Manila leg of the Regional Selection Camp of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 presented by Alaska at Don Bosco Technical Institute on April 9-10. The 24 Jr NBA and Jr WNBA hopefulls will represent the National Capital Region in the National Training Camp on April 22-24.

Fourteen of the 16 Jr. NBA finalists are from Metro Manila while the remaining two players came from Batangas City and Bacolod City respectively. Mark Glenn Gabon, 14, of National University; Luis Gabriel Aguila, 13, of Nazareth School of NU; Johndhel Austria, 13, of Escuela de Sophia; Jearico Nunez, 13, of University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta; Kai Zachary Sotto, 13, Jericho Ross Paglinawan, 14 and Mark Nicole Lucban, 13 of St. Francis of Assisi School; Reich Randell Villegas, 13, of Ateneo de Manila; Prince Junnell de Belen, 13, of San Isidro Catholic School; Pauloh Villarin, 13, of De La Salle Zobel; Patrick Lance Inting, 14, of Our Lady of Pillar Catholic School; Miguel Rey Luis, 13, of Xavier School; Anjelo Raphael Argente, 14, of De La Salle Lipa and Andrei Philip Lechoncito, 13, of St. John’s Institute of Bacolod are headed to the next phase of the program.

Eight girls were selected as Jr. WNBA representatives of Metro Manila composed of the following individuals: Dianne Camille Nolasco, 11, of Miriam College; Lalaine Gonzales, 13, of Escuela de Sophia; Carly Monreal, 13, and Princess Marie Villarin, 10, of De La Salle Zobel; Jonalyn Bongalos of University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta; Lindsey Nacional, 12 of Baptist Bible Seminary Institute, Taytay; Magda Lioui Flores, 13, of Christian Grace School of Cavite and Ma. Cecilia Quilenderino of Dalig National High School of Antipolo.

The fourth and final Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 Regional Selection Camp drew a record number of 1,114 participants—the highest Regional Selection Camp attendance to date since the grassroots program was established in 2007. The camp also attracted young players from the Southern Tagalog and Visayas regions like Jem Joaquin, 14, and Mark Salibio, 12, who are indigenous people of the Ati tribe in Boracay.

The young cagers went through vitals tests and skills challenges with key participants advancing to Day 2 and competing with peers in scrimmages. Selected by the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA evaluation committee led by Jr. NBA Coach Craig Brown and Alaska Aces Assistant Coach Jeffrey Cariaso, the 24 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA players will move on to the National Training Camp after showing all-around skills and exhibiting the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA core S.T.A.R. values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect.

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines National Training Camp, featuring an NBA and WNBA player or legend, will gather all regional picks from Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Manila, and top Alaska Power Camp performers will vie for ten Jr. NBA slots and five Jr. WNBA slots that will make them part of the 2016 batch of Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA All-Stars. Culminating the program will be the selection of Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars who will go on an overseas NBA experience trip with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia later in the year.