THE eight best young basketball players from northern Luzon were chosen at the JrNBA and JrWNBA Presented by Alaska Regional Selection Camp at the Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet the strawberry capital of the Philippines, last weekend.
The two-day camp was held at the sprawling campus of BSU, which was awarded the State Universities and Colleges Level IV, the highest category in the SUC leveling classification by the Commission on Higher Education.
The six boys selected are Jan Zyrus de Ayre of Berkeley School Baguio, Ric Ozner Gatuz of Cherished Moments School in Baguio, Vincent Madiwo of University of Cordilleras in Baguio, Wrench Mason Roquid of University of Perpetual Help System in Laguna, Emmanuel Macaramas of Bayambang National High School in Baguio and Sergz Quitales of St. Louis University-Laboratory High School in Baguio.
The two girls are Treena Areola of Berkeley School Baguio and Rae Jemina Caba of SLU-Laboratory Elementary School.
Kianah Ochabillo of SLU-LHS, John Jacob Chua of University of Cordilleras in Baguio, Brandon Jan Atijera of SLU-LHS and Ethan Rodelas of Berkeley School Baguio were named reserves.
The La Trinidad camp is the first of four regional camps which will select the best basketball players aged 10-14 who become members of the JrNBA and JrWNBA Presented by Alaska All-Star teams.
Five hundred fifty eight boys and 108 girls came from all over Luzon to participate in the camp. Young basketball players from Malvar, Lipa, Batangas endured a 10-hour drive to reach the camp.
Thirteen-year-old Areola, who lives in nearby Baguio, was in tears after being selected as one of just two girls from the camp.
“Masaya po at tuwang tuwa na mapili. Last year pa ako nag try out dito pero ngayon lang ako nag qualify. Maliit na bata pa po ako nagba basketball na ako,” she said.
The young girl represented Baguio in the 2016 Cordillera Administrative Regional Athletic Association (Caraa) last Feb. 6-10. She joins the region’s selection that will compete in girls basketball during the Palarong Pambansa in Albay Province April 10 to 18.
The next regional selection camps will be held in Davao (Feb. 27-28), Cebu (March 5-6) and Metro Manila (April 9-10).
Fifty boys and 24 girls from the camps will advance to the National Training Camp in Manila on April 22-24. There is also a search for the boys and girls coaches who will handle the two teams.
Ten boys, five girls and two coaches – along with other top campers from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia – will fly overseas to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime NBA experience.
Last year, the JrNBA and JrWNBA Presented by Alaska All-Stars went to China to watch the NBA Global Games in Shenzhen featuring the Charlotte Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The JrNBA and JrWNBA Presented by Alaska hopes to challenge and inspire children to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life. It is free and open to boys and girls born 2002 to 2006.
“These holistic programs train children to be confident, disciplined and hardworking because Alaska Milk Corp. aims to prepare them to be winners in life in the future. This year’s program includes new locations such as Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite to reach more children and coaches and discover the best basketball players across the country,” said Marketing Director Blen Fernando.
The national finalists excelled in the skills stations (dribbling, passing, shooting, running and jumping) and scrimmages. They also exemplified the STAR values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect throughout the camp.
The 2016 JrNBA and JrWNBA Presented by Alaska program kicked off at Don Bosco Technical Institute Makati last month.
Open clinics that teach basic basketball skills will run until April with stops in Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila and Puerto Princesa. New locations include Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite.
More than 36,000 players and 2,700 coaches have participated in the program since it started in the Philippines in 2007. The JrNBA and JrWNBA program will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 32 countries during the 2015-2016 season.
For general information about JrNBA and JrWNBA Presented by Alaska please visit www.jrnba.asia/philippines, www.alaskamilk.com, and www.alaskapowercamp.com/basketball. For live updates log on to www.playph.com or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.
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