Seaoil High School All-Star Game promises to be intense with a dash of showtime
by rick olivares pic by roy afable
“It’s going to be competitive,” promised former San Beda Red Cub Arvin Tolentino of the upcoming Seaoil National Basketball Training Center High School All-Star Game. “But there will be some showtime.”
The third Seaoil NBTC High School All-Star Game and the National Finals will be played this coming March 9 at the Ynares Center in Pasig City.
Patterned after the McDonald’s All-American Tournament, the Philippine version is now in its third year while the NBTC National Finals is in its seventh year.
Tolentino along with former National University Bullpups Hubert Cani and John Paul Cauilan as well as Chiang Kai Shek Blazing Dragon Meds Salim were in attendance for the presscon at Shakey’s Malate last Monday February 24 to talk about the upcoming March 9 match that will feature 30 of the best graduating high school players throughout the country.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this game,” said Cani. “To be with the best in the country, you want to be at your best. And it’s our last game in high school so you want to give it your best.”
“Makakasama mo yung mga dati mong teammates at mga kalaban,” relayed Cauilan. “Exciting din yun kasi minsan lang mangyayari yung ganito. Tapos maraming manonood na tao at mga college coaches. Gusto mo manalo at magpakita rin ng galing.”
“Chance din ito na ibandera mo yung high school mo,” added Salim who was recently named the Most Valuable Player of the Seaoil Metro Manila Basketball League where Chiang Kai Shek College defeated Tiong Lian Basketball Association nemesis Hope Christian High School.
Cani and Tolentino are Katipunan-bound to join the Ateneo Blue Eagles while Cauilan and Salim hope to suit up for the National University Bulldogs in next year’s UAAP basketball wars.
“Breeding champions among the youth begins when they are challenged to deliver goals,” said Seaoil Foundation head Dino Badilla. “NBTC has achieved in finding these potential leaders through the years and we are excited that they are given a god shot at jumpstarting a bright future. Seaoil supports and believes in bringing out the best in the Filipino youth.”
More than 60 high school senior standouts are trying out for the All-Star Game that will be trimmed down to 30.
Invited to attend the tryouts from the National Capital Region include St. Stephen’s Ivan Ong and Tyrone Pierce Chan; Xavier’s Jarrell Lim and Isaac Go; Hope Christian High School’s John Apacible, Arjan dela Cruz and Jobert Mercado; Chiang Kai Shek College’s Mohammed Salim, Jeremy Galemit, and Van Pilanga; San Beda College’s Adven Diputado, Javee Mocon, Arvin Tolentino, and Ranbill Tongco; Letran’s Ivan Villanueva; St. Benilde’s Rashleigh Paolo Rivero; UP’s Diego Dario and Raymart Sablan; UE’s Magic Marata; UST’s Isaiah Dandan; FEU’s Roger Domingo, JJ Domingo, Carl John Lumba, and Richard Escoto; La Salle’s Henri Subido and Jose Maldinger; Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena, Aaron Black, and Jaime Escaler; Mapua’s Kevin Cabural, Justin Serrano, and Ronnel Villaseñor; San Sebastian’s Michael Calisaan, Ryan Costelo, Alfren Gayosa, and Ranzelle Yong; NU’s Hubert Cani, JP Cauilan, Manuel Mosqueda, Kins Go, Lorenzo Battad, Jose Carlo Lopeña, Cyprian Castillo, and Thurlough Grealy.
Top prospects from the provinces include Yancy Remulla of St. Francis-North Cavite; McBenson Bendebel of Perpetual Help-Northeast Cavite; Kristian Astilla of Christian Values School-Northwest Cavite; Kenneth Tomenio of Rogationist College-Southwest Cavite; Jeffrey Villabrile of Calayan Educational Foundation-Lucena; Aaron Torres of De La Salle-Lipa; John Paul Daep of Sorsogon; Ivan Jay Atijera of St. Louis-Baguio; Vigor Borras of Divine Word Academy-Dagupan; Rhenzly McCallum of Angeles; Mark Vincent Bondoc of San Fernando; John Michael Pascual of Castillejos National-Zambales; Jennix Sangalang of Gordon Heights-Olongapo; Rhean Soria of St. Michael’s College Iligan; Vince Catague of SJIT-Butuan; and Leonard John Enojardo of Bethel Baptist Christian of Bukidnon.
The two All-Star squads will be coached by JB Sison of the NCAA Juniors titlists San Beda Red Cubs and by Jeff Napa who led the NU Bullpups to its second UAAP Juniors championship in three years.
Previous Most Valuable Players of the All-Star Game include Mapua’s Ace Basas in 2012 and Letran’s Rey Nambatac in 2013. Basas is now in Ateneo while Nambatac moved up to the Letran Knights.
Aside from the All-Star Game, the Seaoil NBTC National Finals will also be played on the same day. A total of 24 high school champion teams will compete for the right to be named national champion. The San Beda Red Cubs are the defending title holders but they were ousted in the recent qualifying Seaoil MMBL meaning that a new champion will be crowned on March 9.
“We’re all set,” glowed program director Eric Altamirano. “This is what everybody has been waiting for – the best 24 high school teams all over the country. It’s going to be a war.”
The MVP Sports Foundation, Meralco, Smart, NLEX, Maynilad, Philex, and Molten back the Seaoil NBTC National Finals, the official grassroots program of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, and the High School All-Star Game.
Entrance to the Seaoil NBTC National Finals and the All-Star Game is free.