AT LEAST seven young basketeers from Cagayan de Oro made it to the Junior NBA national camp after qualifying in the recent Jr. NBA Philippines Regional Selection Camp Mindanao Leg in Butuan City.
Three of them came from Corpus Christi School, namely Richard Carvero, Paolo Matthew Kho and Aishe Mae Solis.
Completing the Oro qualifiers are Paolo Moreno of Xavier University Grade School, Clyde Aaron Tagatungan of St. Mary’s School, Pauleen Angelique Valle of Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School, and Mikyalla Taborada of Kauswagan National High School.
This will be the second time for Moreno, Solis and Valle to qualify in the Jr. NBA’s national training camp after also passing the grade last year.
Moreno, son of former Letran Knights forward Paul “Shantao” Moreno, shone the brightest among the Oro qualifiers last year as he was named the “Rising Star of the Year” in the nationals.
“Maayo ang ilang gipakita ug maayo nga ubay-ubay nga Kagay-anon ang nakasulod sa national camp,” said Catrina June Pong-Biongcog, herself the “Coach of the Year” in last year’s national camp in Manila.
Coach Catrina, on her part, had a kind of fulfillment after her protégé Taborada qualified to the nationals.
Taborada had been under Catrina’s tutelage when the latter started a basketball program in June last year.
Like Catrina, St. Mary’s coach Rene Ilogon was brimming with pride when Tagatungan also advanced to the nationals.
“He is a promising and smart player. Dili kaayo ni siya maayo modula sa una, but he showed that he’s matured in the game and he’s ready to fly,” said Ilogon of Tagatungan’s feat.
Kho, on the other hand, displayed impressive skill when he topped the vitals test.
“Nagpakitang gilas gyud ang Kagay-nons didto sa Butuan and hope mao sab didto sa national camp,” added Catrina.