Young Pinoy hoopers relish NBA experience in Shanghai

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2016 06:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The 2016 batch of Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines All-Stars had an unforgettable experience in Shanghai, China last October 7-10, together with fellow Jr. NBA standouts from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia played exhibition games with their peers, engaged with NBA legend Vin Baker, and toured famous landmarks in Shanghai like the Bund, the Yu Garden, and Nanjing Road.

To culminate their Jr. NBA experience, the group watched the NBA preseason game between the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Pelicans at the Mercedes Benz Arena.

The 10 Jr. NBA All-Stars who represented the Philippines were: Felix Valencia and Harold Alarcon of Taytung High School; Andrei Philip Lechoncito of St. John’s Institute; Tracy Carl Dadang of University of San Carlos; Ric Ozner Gatuz of Cherished Moment School; Jearico Nuñez of University of Perpetual Help System-DALTA; Miguel Roy Luis Tan of Xavier School; and Julian Alfonso Jugo and Isaiah Miguel Blanco of La Salle Green Hills.

Meanwhile, the five Jr. WNBA All-Stars were: Florence Jill Talas of Abellana National High School in Cebu; Rozie Amatong of Modern International Learning Center in Davao; Aloha Marie Betanio of Corpus Christi School in Malaybalay, Bukidnon; Ma. Cecilia Quilenderino of Dalig National High School in Antipolo; and Carly Monreal of De La Salle-Zobel.

"It was a great opportunity to experience people from different walks of life and learn about their culture," said Blanco. "We started off as teams on the court, but easily became family."

"I will definitely cherish the lifetime friendships I've formed during this trip."

The 15 young players bested their peers during the National Training Camp to earn the trip to Shanghai. They were accompanied by Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Elegino Chollo of Ateneo de Davao, and Jr. WNBA Coach of the Year Ewon Arayi of Magis Academy, who coached the Jr. NBA All-Stars during the friendly competitions.

Jr. NBA Philippines will enter its 10th year in 2017. The league's grassroots participation program for boys and girls teaches fundamental skills and the core values of basketball to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches, and parents.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.