Jr. NBA makes 5th return to PH

By TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 05 2012 07:19 PM | Updated as of May 06 2012 03:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Jr. NBA Philippines returned to the Philippines for the fifth consecutive year with a more extensive program and visited new cities in the North and South.

This year, the leading youth basketball program tipped off in Manila, and went to Puerto Princesa, Pampanga and Cagayan de Oro, reaching over 400 schools nationwide.

The program is open for boys aged 10 to 14 years old for free and approximately 40,000 students, parents, and coaches benefited from the program.

The second Coach of the Year Awards launched at tip-off in Manila and the top 10 finalist were chosen from the National Training Camp from May 3 to 5.

Jr. NBA 2012 is composed of four stages: the Jr. NBA Touring Clinics for coaches and players from January to March, the Regional Selection Camps in April, the National Training Camp in May and the NBA Experience later in the year.

Jr. NBA was introduced in the Philippines in 2007.

In 2008, the program expanded from 16 schools to more than 200, reaching approximately 20,000 students, parents, and coaches across the country.

In 2011, the program reached more than 400 schools and 40.000 students, parents, and coaches nationwide.

The top 10 players from different parts of the country were chosen as the finalists to form a team of Jr. NBA players to compete in exhibition matches versus other Jr. NBA teams in other countries as well as getting a chance to watch an NBA game in China later this year.

NBA legend and former Michael Jordan teammate Luc Longley was on hand for the final stretch to help coach and inspire the kids to work hard and reach for their dreams.