SBC’s Nelle, Adamson’s Serrano banner NBTC All-Stars
by rick olivares
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – From a pool of over 70 of the best high school basketball players from all over the country, the list has been pared down to 26 names who will compete in the sixth SM-National Basketball Training Center High School All-Star Game this coming March 16 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Over a rigid two-day trials that was held last February 25 and 26 at the San Beda College Gym, SM-NBTC coaches led by tournament organizers Eric Altamirano and Alex Compton and tournament director Ato Badolato selected 26 players. An additional four slots are being saved for the best players from the Fil-foreign squads from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States of America who will be participating in the SM-NBTC National Championships.
Bannering the list of All-Stars is last year’s All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Evan Nelle who returns once more due to the K12. Other returning All-Stars include Chiang Kai Shek College’s Jonas Tibayan and John Galinato, National University’s John Lloyd Clemente and Rhayyan Amsali, San Beda’s Germy Mahinay and Sam Abuhijleh, Malayan High School’s Sherwin Concepcion, University of the Philippines’ Juan Gomez De Liaño, and University of the Visayas’ Jan Cork Cabahug.
Prominent first-time All-Stars include Adamson University’s Florencio “Encho” Serrano; Ateneo High School’s triumvirate of SJ Belangel, Dave Ildefonso, and Kai Sotto; and La Salle Greenhills’ Troy Mallillin.
During the 2016 SM-NBTC All-Star Game, it was the South Team’s Aljun Melecio who led all scorers with 26 points, however, Nelle struck during the clutch with key three-pointers (en route to a North Team-high 16 points) aside from two assists and two steals in the game’s waning minutes to earn the MVP nod.
The Division 2 All-Star Game participants will be announced at the end of the SM-NBTC Division 2 Championships featuring provincial teams on March 15.
The All-Stars who will be grouped into the North and South squads, will be coached by national team coaches Jong Uichico and Josh Reyes. It was previously announced that Aldin Ayo, head coach of UAAP champion De La Salle University, and Jamike Jarin, head coach of NCAA champions San Beda College, will handle the All-Star squads. Tournament organizers deemed it best that the two would serve as an inspiration for the Division 2 All-Star Game participants whose dream it is to be recruited by the top programs in Manila. Conversely, for those playing in Division One who are shoo-ins if not prospects for the NCAA and UAAP schools, the next step is to play for the national team.
Previous Most Valuable Players for the SM-NBTC All-Star Game are:
2016 Evan Nelle (San Beda)
2015 Mike Nieto (Ateneo)
2014 Thirdy Ravena (Ateneo)
2012 Rey Nambatac (Letran)
2011 Ace Basas (Mapua)
Division 1 and 2 Finals will be covered and aired by ABS-CBN Sports and Action on March 16 at 6pm and 8pm with the All-Star Games aired on March 17 at 2pm.
The North All-Star Team as coached by Jong Uichico and assisted by Mapua’s Randy Alcantara: Evan Nelle (San Beda), Guilmer Dela Torre (Arellano University), Unique Naboa (La Salle Greenhills), Encho Serrano (Adamson), Harvey Pagsanjan (Hope Christian High School), Dave Ildefonso (Ateneo), John Lloyd Clemente (National University), Juan De Liano (University of the Philippines), Kai Sotto (Ateneo), Jonas Tibayan (Chiang Kai Shek College), Germy Mahinay (San Beda), Troy Mallillin (La Salle Greenhills), Aaron Fermin (Arellano University) plus two Fil-foreign players.
The South All-Star Team will be coached by Josh Reyes: SJ Belangel (Ateneo), Romuel Junsay (Mapua), Andrew Velasco (SHS-Ateneo de Cebu), John Galinato (Chiang Kai Shek College), Maui Cruz (Emilio Aguinaldo College), Lars Sunga (Arellano University), Miguel Oczon (Chiang Kai Shek College), Jan Cork Cabahug (University of the Visayas), Erlan Umpad (Lyceum of the Philippines), Sherwin Concepcion (Mapua), Karl Peñano (National University), Rhayyan Amsali (National University), Sam Abuhijleh (San Beda) plus two Fil-foreign players.