Five boys from Bacolod Tay Tung High School and four from St. John’s Institute, along with four girls from different high schools in Bacolod City were selected to the National Training Camp of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA during the regional selection camp held at SJI over the weekend.
The selected players for the Jr. NBA national training camp were Ralph Allen Cagalawan, Christian Perigua, Kent Dentin Esperagazo, John Dexter Gigantana, and Andy John Villamer of Tay Tung High School and Andrei Lechoncito, Daniel Coo, Nicholas Steven Pura, and Kurt Coloso of SJI.
For the Jr. WNBA the Bacolod finalists were Dyna Sicil Nieves of University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, Luisa Martina de la Paz of University of St. La Salle, Rodnie Mae Hodilena of Luis Hervias National High School, and Karla Sheen Cotejo.
Kurt Jan Aparri of Christ the King College in Calbayog City, Samar completed the list of the 14 finalists selected from the Bacolod regional selection camp.
NBA coaches, led by coach Chris Sumner, was very impressed with the abundance of basketball talent in Bacolod, Tessa Jazmines, public relation officer of the event said.
She added that past selections have only tapped four boys at most and one or two girls, with the exception of Baguio which selected four boys and three girls.
“Bacolod has 14 finalists. This is testament to the available talent in Bacolod,” Jazmines said.
During the regional selection camp, participants underwent vitals tests, skills challenges and basketball drills on the first day. The top 40 players with the highest vitals test and skills challenges scores on Day 1 were asked to return on Day 2 for more intense drills and basketball team exercises.
A final scrimmage at the end of Day 2 selected the most skilled basketball players, who also exemplified the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA core values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect.
The NTC finalists were chosen by the Jr. NBA evaluation committee composed of Sumner, NBA Asia Director of Basketball Operations Craig Brown, Alaska coaches Rodney Santos, Eric de la Cuesta and Junjun Alas, Raffy Gonzalez and Ish Tiu, Vangie Soriano and Lhen Flormata of Perlas Pilipinas.
“The players here were very impressive. This was a very competitive batch and we had a hard time deciding who were the best because they were all good,” Sumner said.
“We were also very happy about the turn ou. The passion for basketball in this city is awesome and I am most impressed about the enthusiasm of the players, coaches and parents here. I’m excited to find out how they will perform in Manila,” he added.
Two more regional selection camps remain -- one in Davao City at the University of the Immaculate Conception on March 28 and 29 and another in Manila at the PICC Forum on April 11 and 12.
At the national training camp, 10 Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA All-Stars will be selected and will join an overseas NBA experience together with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia.
Source: Visayan Daily Star