Big stages and bright lights have been set up in Ilocos Norte, Sarangani, Cebu, and Batangas, as the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) brings the best of under-19 basketball all over the Philippines.
Four regional championships (RCs) are slated from January to March next year where winners from 68 local city qualifiers (LCQs) will fight for the right to advance to the 2024 Smart-NBTC National Finals presented by SM Supermalls.
“It’s about time we expand the glory of the National Finals to the regions,” said NBTC program director Eric Altamirano. “This is the NBTC’s way of upping the ante as we aim to discover more Filipino talents from the provinces.”
Laoag will kick off the four-part regional series, with Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Manotoc hosting the North Luzon RC at Centennial Arena from Jan. 18 to 21.
“We’re honored to be the first to kick off the NBTC RCs and we’re excited to unearth the best young talents from North Luzon,” Manotoc said.
This will be followed by the Mindanao RC at Sarangani Sports Training Center from Feb. 1 to 4 and hosted by Gov. Rogelio Pacquiao; the Visayas RC at Cebu Coliseum from Feb. 15 to 18 hosted by Cebu Landmasters; and the South Luzon RC at Batangas City Sports Center from Feb. 29 to Mar. 3 hosted by Mayor Beverley Rose Dimacuha-Mariño and University of Batangas.
The top four teams of their respective RCs will book their tickets to the National Finals, which will be held at SM Mall of Asia Arena from Mar. 18 to 24. Majority of LCQs are already underway, where the winners claim their place in the inaugural North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao championships.
Select RC games will be available on livestreaming all over the world via the Smart Livestream app, as well as the NBTC and Smart Sports Facebook pages.