MANILA, Philippines – Jr. NBA has chosen the 10 players that will make up the Jr. NBA Philippine team, which will compete in exhibition games with teams from other countries.
The 10 players will also get to watch an NBA playoff game live.
The 10 players were chosen out of thousands of young players who participated in Jr. NBA camps in Puerto Princesa, Pampanga, Cagayan de Oro and Metro Manila.
Forty of the best players were then selected to come to Manila and compete in the finals this weekend at the SM Mall of Asia.
De La Salle Zobel standout Aljun Jay Melecio was chosen as the Most Valuable Player.
“Marami po akong natutunan at malaki pong inspirasyon si (former Chicago Bulls player) Luc (Longley) na NBA player. Madami kaming natunan sa kanila on and off the court,” Melecio said.
Aside from Melecio, Camillus Altamirano, Patrick Ramirez and John Roald Mayor were also chosen from the Manila Regional Training Camp.
Lui Besa, Felixberto Jaboneta and Arnie Padilla were chosen from the Cagayan de Oro camp; Paul Dagunan was chosen from the Puerto Princesa camp; Antonio Jeffrey Coronel was chosen from the Pampanga camp; and Regille Kent Ilagan was chosen from the Alaska Power Camp in Manila.
“Masaya kami na successful kami this year. Halos 25,000 players ang na-train na namin and we got some really good quality players,” said NBA Philippines country manager Carlo Singson. “We got them based on their skills and as well as their positive attitude.”
Longley, for his part, said he was happy with the talent and potential of the young Filipino players.
“I saw so much talent from these kids, the willingness to learn as well is great,” he said. “You know given the chance, the exposure, the hard work, it is only a matter of time before we see a Filipino in the NBA.” -- Report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News