THE City Of San Fernando is once again hosting the finals games of the annual Milo-Best Small Basketeers Philippine (SBP) and Passarelle National Twin Tournament Saturday and Sunday, November 24-25.
The University of the Assumption is the venue of this year’s finals level wherein eight schools from all over the country, four each on the SBP and Passarelle divisions, are competing against each other for the coveted trophy.
This year’s finalists on the SBP Division, which caters to players aged 12 and below, are International School for Better Living (Luzon), University of Visayas (Visayas), Corpus Christi School (Mindanao), and De La Salle Green Hills (NCR).
The International School for Better Living (Luzon), St. Roberts International Academy (Visayas), Corpus Christi School (Mindanao), and National University (NCR) is battling it out in the Passarelle Division whose bracket includes 15 to 13 years old players.
Now on its 33rd year, Best Center Founder Nick Jorge said that the Milo-Best twin tournament has become the breeding ground for rising basketball stars in the junior and senior level in the country.
The tournament has produced several basketball players who are already recognized in the basketball field like James Yap, Chris Tiu, LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Larry Fonacier, Japeth Aguilar and Jayvee Casio, who all once played for the national team in the Olympics.
“Since the tournament has been recognized as the breeding ground of champions, several talent scouts are watching during the finals and recruit players with huge potential to become part of bigger schools in the Metro. This gives the children an opportunity to be exposed in bigger competitions, and also study in big schools with scholarships,” Jorge said.
But aside from engaging children in sports, Milo Sports Executive Lester Castillo said that the tournament also aims to provide a holistic personal and character development among participants.
He noted that the rigorous trainings conducted during clinic lessons are also focused in molding the character and values of the children, particularly their discipline, camaraderie and sportsmanship which are important factors to become a team player.
“Champions do not become champions alone. They have teammates, coaches and mentors and that is what we would like to instill to the players, the value of discipline, sportsmanship and camaraderie with your teammates,” he added.
Castillo also clarified that the Milo- BEST does not require participation fee for teams who join in the competition as Milo shoulders all the expenses in the tournament, including the uniforms, gears and the transportation and accommodation of players and coaching staff.
“We would like to let the public know that everything is sponsored by Milo. No fees collected. So we are hoping that more schools will participate next year and together, let us make the champions,” he said.