Four young Filipino cagers are set to fly to the Walt Disney World, near Orlando, Florida, particularly at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World on August 6-11 to represent Asia Pacific at the Jr. NBA Global Championship, a youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world.
Camille Nolasco, Heinz Gabriel Demisana, Sebastian Reyes, and Lionel Matthew Rubico were recognized as part of the top performing players of the first-ever Jr. NBA Asia Pacific Selection Camp staged June 15-16 at the Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) in Jakarta, Indonesia, which featured 34 boys and 34 girls from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The quartet formed the Jr. NBA Philippines 2019 All-Stars, comprised of three boys and one girl.
Jr. NBA coaches Carlos Barroca, Rob Newson and Natalia Andre led the two-day camp lessons to the participants including how to execute technical and tactical skills and develop teamwork among players of varying languages and cultural backgrounds.
In addition, Jr. NBA athletes participated in the skills challenge during the Jr. NBA All-Star Saturday Night event that featured Jr. NBA Indonesia alumni and Indonesian personalities including professional basketball player Daniel Wenas, actress and singer Mikha Tambayong, and social media influencers Hadi al Ghifary and Reynal Abipraya.
Demisana and Reyes echoed their excitement, enthusiasm, and being proud about their achievement.
“Basketball has given me many opportunities with one of them being able to play in the Jr. NBA program. I’m very proud to join the Asia Pacific team competing in the Jr. NBA Global Championship.” said Henjz Gabriel Demisana
“I’m excited for the competition in the United States because it will be a lot harder than in Asia. Representing the Philippines is a big deal for myself because not all kids have an opportunity to play for their country.”, said Reyes
Nolasco and Rubico, on the other hand, emphasized on playing with heart, an inherent Filipino basketball trait that was highlighted when Gilas Pilipinas made “Laban Pilipinas, Puso” motto while playing for the World Cup a few years back.
“When I first saw my opponents, I didn’t expect to be here since they’re so tall, but I brought the Filipino mentality ‘puso’ which helped achieve my goal of being part of the Jr. NBA Asia Pacific girls team.” said Nolasco
“My coaches always reminded to go hard to the basket, not be afraid, believe in myself, and fight with all my heart. I’m looking forward to meeting new friends and challenging the talented players from around the world.”, Rubico ended.
Joining our three boys are a cager each from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and Thailand to complete the 10-man lineup.
Joining Nolasco to complete the distaff side are two Indonesians, a Japanese, an Australian, a Malaysian, a Vietnamese, a Singaporean, a Thailand national and a New Zealander.
The Jr. NBA regional selection camp made its stop in the Cordilleras last March 23-24, 2019 at the Benguet State University (BSU) where seven from Baguio-Benguet schools, successfully hurdled the drills went to Manila to join others from the entire country for the Jr. NBA National Training Camp.
Jhuliana Francesca Pagteilan, 13, studying at the San Jose School in La Trinidad; and Christine Nicole Venterez, 12, studying at the Baguio City National High School, Jushrylle Rayne De Vera, 13, studying at Baguio City National High School; Kenneth Gabriel Duca, 14, studying at University of Baguio Science High School; Zak Adlee Gumaya, 13, studying at Berkeley School of Baguio, Aethan Pagio, 14, studying at University of Baguio; and Nathaniel Tomeldan, 14, studying at St. Louis University – Laboratory High School composed the list these seven national camp qualifiers.
The Jr. NBA Philippines 2019 is presented by Alaska, with AXA, Gatorade, Globe, Panasonic, Rexona and Vivo as official partners. ABS-CBN S+A, Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV are the official broadcasters of Jr. NBA Philippines.
Interested young cagers can learn more about Jr. NBA Philippines at www.jrnba.asia/philippines and on Facebook and the NBA at www.nba.com and on Facebook and Twitter. They can also visit www.alaskamilk.com to learn more about Alaska Milk Corporation and can follow Alaska Milk on Facebook for more information about Alaska Sports.
By Armando M. Bolislis