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A record-breaking 1,505 young basketball players across Mindanao welcomed the Jr. NBA Philippines 2018 presented by Alaska at Fr. Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City on February 24-25, 2018.  Boys and girls from Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Davao, Sarangani and other cities and provinces in Mindanao, including young Higa-onon, Manobo and Banwaon players, participated in the first-ever Jr. NBA Regional Selection Camp in Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte.
Eleven aspirants got the nod from Jr. NBA Coaches Rob Newson and Jeffrey Cariaso as they excelled in two days’ worth of intense basketball training and scrimmages. They also exemplified the Jr. NBA core S.T.A.R. values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect throughout the camp.
The top seven boys and top four girls who will advance to the National Training Camp in Manila are (L-R): Zhan Paolo Moreno, Michael John Sarmiento, Vince Uchi, Mikylla Taborada, Pauline Angelique Valle, Christian Joi Mesias, Aishe Mae Solis, Madelyn Flores, Klein Tyrone Tagotongan, Paolo Mathew Kho, and Richard Carvero III.
Travelling to Manila for the National Training Camp on May 18-20, 2018 are Richard Carvero III, 13, and Paolo Matthew Kho, 13, of Corpus Christi School; Christian Joi Mesias, 14, of Jose Maria College; Zhan Paolo Moreno, 13, of Xavier University; Michael John Sarmiento, 13, of Father Saturnino Urios University; Klein Tyrone Tagotongan, 13, of St. Mary’s School; and Vince Uchi, 14, of Alabel National Science Highschool for the boys division. For the girls division, the aspirants are Madelyn Flores, 14, of Bukidnon National Highschool; Aishe Solis, 13, of Corpus Christi School; Mikylla Taborada, 13, of Kauswagan National Highschool; and Pauline Angelique Valle, 13, of Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive Highschool .
“There’s a lot of talent here,” Coach Newson said. “We were really impressed with at least three of the kids who were selected that we really feel have the natural ability to make it until the end. The kids love the game. They worked really hard and I’m excited to see them in Manila.”
Boys and girls aged 10-14 who want to join the NBA’s free youth basketball program can still participate in the two remaining Regional Selection Camps in Baguio on March 17-18, 2018 and Manila on April 21-22, 2018.  Interested participants can still register online at www.jrnba.asia, where the program terms and conditions can be found.
 Two girl participants tip off the Jr. NBA scrimmage.

A young Manobo baller receives instructions from Alaska Coach Eric dela Cuesta on proper defensive stance.

A Jr. NBA cager pushes past his two defenders for a floater.
For more information, fans can follow Jr. NBA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jrnbaphilippines and Twitter at www.twitter.com/nba_philippnes.  For all things NBA, fans can visit www.nba.com, like the NBA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/philsnba and follow www.twitter.com/nba_philippines on Twitter.
To learn more about the Alaska Milk Corporation, visit www.alaskamilk.com and www.playph.com.
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